Monday, December 17, 2012

#MotionMonday: Gearing Up For the FIRST Robotics Kick-Off

As strong supporters of STEM initiatives, we are always looking for opportunities where we can encourage our local science, technology, engineering and math students to do great things. One of the many ways we reach out to students is through FIRST, an annual robotics competition founded by Dean Kamen. During the 2013 program we are sponsoring three high school teams as Diamond Suppliers to the kit of parts — The Vacaville Robodogs, the Sacramento Fembots and the Brentwood Patriots.

Look for us in the 2013 program catalog
READY TO RUMBLE? — These teams will take part in a national contest that pits robots they design and build against those of other teams. FIRST robotics, the nonprofit organization that facilitates the months-long competition, aims to promote STEM education and foster future engineers and scientists by making STEM education fun and practical. We contribute guided motion components, financial aid and publicity to support some of our local teams.

This year's FRC kick-off takes place on Saturday January 5, 2013. We'll be covering the event at San Jose State University, where hundreds of students will compete in what marks the start of the design and build season. At the kick-off event students will, "compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts and get geared up for the exciting competition seasons." (Credit:

VARSITY SPORT FOR THE MIND — The FRC season culminates in an intense competitive event that draws teams from all over the world to compete in large arenas in a competition that requires students' robots to achieve complex tasks. What makes the competition so fierce is that FIRST culls the best and brightest young minds to compete, and then there are the variables on game day: Will the battery run out? Will the machine malfunction? How to tackle those problems on game day while the clock keeps ticking?

The program teaches kids to think on their feet and dream up innovative solutions to immediate problems. That ingenuity lies at the heart of invention and engineering, it provides the foundation for a robust manufacturing sector because it fuels innovation. That's the spirit we aim to foster here. And that's why we support FIRST.