Inventor and founder of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), Dean Kamen, launched the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition with a new robotics game. Over 100,000 students joined the kickoff by participating in Destination: Deep Space, which was presented by The Boeing Company.
Kamen hopes students take away many real world, critical solving problem skills they may acquire while competing in FIRST.
“We are here to make sure you have the tools to cure cancer, build clean energy supplies, and make water, food, and cybersecurity available worldwide – to make the world a better, healthier place,” Kamen said.
This season’s game, Destination: Deep Space, entails the FIRST Robotics Competition teams to collect samples on Planet Primus, combat unpredictable terrain, and operate a remote robot that’s crucial to the success of their mission. Allotting only two minutes and thirty seconds until liftoff, the teams must gather cargo pods and prepare their spaceships for departure before a sandstorm arrives.
At the most recent kickoff, which introduced the game, the two competing teams received a Kickoff Kit from the Kit of Parts, made of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and other automation components.
With only limited instructions and an adult mentor, the students have a curbed time limit to design, build, program, and test their robot to meet the engineering challenge. After building their robot, the teams will participate in one, or more, of the global 173 Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the skills of the team’s collaboration, and the determination of each student.
FIRST is a way for students to discover valuable lessons in STEM-related scenarios, where participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in FIRST scholarships.
“Through charitable grants which fund STEM programs like FIRST, Boeing ensures students develop the skills they need to succeed in the future,” said John Blazey, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “Exposure to STEM subjects and experiences provides students opportunities to hone their critical thinking skills and learn to collaborate with one another — skills critical in today’s marketplace.”
Rockwell Automation is also involved the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff and provides team mentors, judges, and referees.
“Our support of STEM programs like FIRST is one of the best investments we can make for the future of our company and industry,” said Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation Chairman & CEO. “The science and technology experiences that students gain from FIRST programs provide a strong foundation for their future careers, and we invest in these next-generation leaders to help maintain a strong workforce of young men and women who like technology and the possibilities it unlocks.”