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  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 game is called Destination: Deep Space. In Deep Space, Presented By The Boeing Company, we join two competing alliances collecting samples on Planet Primus. Unpredictable terrain and weather patterns make remote robot operation essential to their mission on the planet. With only 2:30 until liftoff, the alliances must gather as many cargo pods as possible and prepare their spaceships before the next sandstorm arrives.
  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.