1. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The program was founded with the ultimate goal of inspiring young people to be the science and technology leaders of the future.
  2. FIRST accomplishes this goal by challenging students to create robots that compete in fun, game-like challenges. Past challenges include games similar to Frisbee golf, soccer, and basketball. With themes ranging from medieval to steampunk.
  3. The FIRST Robotics’ program progression starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. Younger students use EV3 kits, while older students build robots from scratch.
  4. I am on Eden Prairie High School’s Talon Robotics Team 2502. Five students started our robotics team in 2007. Since 2008 we have qualified for World Championship 5 times and now have about 55 members.
  5. This year’s challenge is called Power Up. Power Up involves robots working together on an alliance to collect and deliver power cubes to gain ownership of the scale or their switch. You also place cubes in the vault to utilize power ups. Robots also work together to climb the scale at the end of the game.
  6. We mentor and supply financial support five Jr. FLL, eight FLL (FIRST Lego League) and four FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) teams and hosted our own FTC tournament. We also have assisted the Eagle Ridge Academy, tERAbytes.
  7. We demonstrate our robot annually at RoboFest, scout troop meetings, Vacation Bible schools, Eden Prairie 4th of July Celebration, Minnesota State Fair, and at many of our sponsors’ locations. We also hosted our fourth annual Car Show this past year.
  8. Each summer we run summer camps through community education. Students get to participate in STEM challenges and build their own robot using an Arduino. This past summer we added a programming class and plan to continue to expand the program.
  9. In addition to corporate sponsors, we raise funds to help offset travel costs through a spaghetti dinner, Krispy Kreme donut sales, and concession sales at various school events and car shows.
  10. Our robot can place power cubes in the switch and scale with our elevator lift and four wheel active intake.
  11. Our robot can also climb at the end of the match. We have a system in which we can carry two other robots on our robot allowing us to have our entire alliance climb for 90 points in total.