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The Robots Are Coming



What do kids do in high school nowadays?

That is a question many of us ask ourselves whenever talk of supporting education and public schools arises. We did some digging and found the answer to this question…. robots have taken over.

Let us clarify….we are referring to the FIRST Robotics program. FIRST Robotics was founded in 1989 and has hit international success with more than 295,000 youth involved in more than 50 countries.

Our local high school students are getting the chance to participate in this exciting program and need our continued support. This year Eastern Washington University will be one of 55 locations nationwide to host a FIRST Robotics regional championship.

This year each individual high school team will design a robot in just six weeks that moves by remote controls and human movement sensors. Microsoft Kinect donated Kinect software to each team to make this part of the challenge possible. This is the first year robots will be operated by human benefit for a brief time during each challenge.

Rebound Rumble is the theme for the competition this year and teams will need to design robots that can essentially play basketball like a pro. Want to see what we’re talking about? Watch the challenge video:

It is amazing to see just how bright our students are and how eager they are to receive challenges like Rebound Rumble. We need to remember that students learn a tremendous amount in high school and programs like FIRST Robotics help set them up for future success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) vocations.

Students who compete in FIRST Robotics in high school upon entering college are:

  • Ten times more likely to have an internship with a company
  • Four times more likely to pursue a career in science and engineering (Aren’t those the fields President Obama just said we needed filled?)

In addition, young women in the FIRST Robotics competition are four times more likely to study science and engineering.

Our local youth are up to some phenomenal things. Mark your calendars for April 5-7 to make sure you see our future in action.

Interested in volunteering? There are lots of volunteer positions available. Contact Dale Garraway for more information.

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