In the era of technological advances, the high-tech devices we use and see every day can often be taken for granted. But rather than becoming commonplace, these devices should serve as inspiration for all of us, and most importantly, to serve as inspiration for young people.
Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 with the goal of sparking young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” True to its name, the organization motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In the process of participating in FIRST, students are able to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
Each year, FIRST sponsors the FIRST Robotics Challenge and the FIRST Tech Challenge, which are opportunities for students to showcase their skills by programming robots to achieve specific tasks. These tasks include various games, such as this year’s Rebound Rumble (similar to basketball). Not only do teams work together to build their robots before the deadline, but alliances of teams also work together during the competition. FIRST highly promotes cooperation, for which they give extra points called “Co-opertition points.”