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FIRST Robotics: It’s a Rush!

FIRSTRobotsThe FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) – RECYCLE RUSH – was a huge hit earlier this month. GSI helps plan this event and we depend on a lot of volunteers to make it run smoothly. Events like this support GSI’s STEM efforts and help bridge the gap between education and workforce – ensuring a skilled workforce for the future.

One of RECYCLE RUSH volunteers, Ann Joyce, took a little time after the event to tell us about her experience:

I have newfound faith in the future – thanks to my time volunteering at the PNW District First Robotics Competition! Young minds, innovative ideas, positive energy, graciousness and camaraderie filled West Valley High School during the March 5-6 competition.

The students, their robots, the competition structure and the simulated real-life lessons that were on display impressed me. As a queuer, I was responsible to get the teams of teens from the pit where they worked on their robots to the competition field where they maneuvered their robots to stack bins and garbage containers while avoiding litter in the recycling challenge. Kind, organized and enthusiastic kids were easy to corral and our job was busy but not at all chaotic as I had anticipated.  

As the competition narrowed and the final teams formed, the energy – complete with line dancing to Cotton-eyed Joe – was serious, fun and entertaining. I’d do it again in heartbeat.

In just two short weeks, Ann will get that chance again as 64 FRC teams from across Washington and Oregon will file into Cheney to compete in the PNW District Championships hosted by Eastern Washington University. Each team is hoping they’ll be one of the 30 teams advancing to the FIRST world championships in St. Louis, Missouri at the end of April. Be sure to come out and show your support for the regional teams that will be competing in the Championship on April 1-4.

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