For anyone involved in FIRST Robotics competitions, it really doesn’t take long to see the benefits for students. In addition to building and programming robots (pretty cool in itself), they learn some pretty important science, technology, engineering and math concepts, as well as 21st Century Skills like collaboration, communication and critical thinking. FIRST is also a means to character development.
As a supplier and supporter, I can also attest to the fact that participating in FIRST can help a business or organization blossom. The other suppliers and supporters we’ve met over the years have helped shape us as a company, and I’d like to share a couple of examples.
As many FIRST supporters know, LEGO Education is a vital piece of the FIRST community. For many FIRST students, their first encounter with robotics is through the LEGO kits used in competition for Junior FIRST LEGO League (jFLL), FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC). We first met the LEGO Education North America gang at a FIRST World Championship, and years later, we’re still developing curriculum resources to go along with their amazing kits. The projects we’ve done with them, like teacher resources for the WeDo kit, have allowed us to be creative, and really get in touch with the needs of classroom teachers and students.
We were pretty excited when FIRST itself asked us to develop materials for them, and from this new partnership came the Mentor’s Guide and a Getting Started Guide for FIRST Technical Challenge. (http://www.tetrixrobotics.com/FTC/)
Ben Zimmer is President of Enable Education. He’s pleased to report that robots have helped him in many ways, including as an entrepreneur.
Business Development 1 Character Development 3 FIRST 3 FLL 2 FRC 3 FTC 2 Inspiring Employees 4 LEGO Mindstorms 1 Robotics 4 STEM 6