Today marks the beginning of the FIRST World Championships! For months now, aspiring young engineers have been designing, building, programming, and testing their creations. They’ve been competing in regional matches and getting ready to (maybe) travel to Houston or Detroit. For a number of years, we’ve worked with FIRST, and have been proud to support them.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of each year’s competition, and we’d like to give a 21- robot salute to everyone involved. Here are just a few reasons why we’re big fans of FIRST:
- FIRST is built on collaboration. Of course team members are expected to work together effectively. Individuals on every team will be in different grades at school, with varying interests and learning styles. What’s even more impressive is that during competition, teams from all over the world are grouped together for matches, and their success depends on being able to collaborate. We’ve seen first-hand how participants who’ve never met are able to rise to the occasion, and rely on one another for both technical and moral support.
- FIRST is inclusive. Learners at the elementary and secondary level are welcome, as are participants from around the world. FIRST is often a gateway for girls and young women who are interested in STEM, and underrepresented groups of learners can find their voice there as well.
- FIRST is creative! Participants gain technical skills through competition, but there’s lots of room to think outside of the box as well. Every robot built is different, and it’s always thrilling to see many ways there are to approach a design challenge.
- FIRST is fun! There’s an energy at both practices and competition that’s truly touching. It’s not unusual for teams to have their own cheering section in the bleachers, complete with team-colour-dyed hair, mascots, noisemakers, and custom SWAG.
We count our relationship, and our work with FIRST as being part of our success as a company. We share their values, and applaud their ingenuity and “gracious professionalism”. Enable applauds the efforts of this year’s participants and the very dedicated people that keeps this wonderful organization running. Good luck to everyone, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!