FIRST Robotics Competition: This is more than Child’s Play
April 23, 2013
April is the month for the popular FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This educational and technical challenge pits thousands of groups from across the country in regional matches throughout the month of March. The Regional winners then face off against one another in the World Championship in late April.
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and was created by the inventor of the Segway scooter, Dean Kamen. Back in 1989, when he founded the competition he focused on a program that would foster young student’s interest in science and technology. It has been called a competition that is “Sport for the Mind” mainly because FRC combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology.
Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform specified tasks against a field of competitors. This is real-world engineering for these students. As well, companies and others get involved as volunteer professional mentors. They lend their time and professional talents to each team.
The benefits of the competition include:
- Hands on learning from professional engineers
- Building and designing a robot for the competition
- Utilizing sophisticated software and hardware
- Qualifying for more than $16 million in college scholarships
Keystone has been a supplier of components in the starter kits for this competition for several years. We follow this annual challenge and enjoy the opportunity to help young students get more involved and interested in math, science, technology, and design. The FIRST Championship is scheduled for April 24-27, 2013, at the America’s Center Convention complex and Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Below is an overview video of the competition. We at Keystone believe that today’s students are the future of the electronics industry and this program giving them a realistic, educational, and fun look into the products and companies where they one day may work.