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 games include games similar to Frisbee golf, soccer, and basketball.
  3. The FIRST Robotics’ program progression starts in kindergarten and continues through high school. Younger students use LEGOs while older students build robots from scratch
  4. I am on Eden Prairie’s High School’s Talon Robotics Team 2502. Since 2008 we have qualified for World Championship 4 times and now have about 40 members.
  5. This year’s challenge is called STEAMworks. STEAMworks involves robots working to get an airship up and running by throwing plastic balls into a boiler to fuel the ship, delivering gears to activate propellers, and climbing a rope to board the airship.
  6. We mentor and supply financial support to one Jr. FLL, four FLL (FIRST Lego League) and six FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) teams and hosted our own FTC and FLL tournament. We also have assisted the Eagle Ridge Academy, tERAbytes, with programming, build, mentors, and marketing.
  7. We demonstrate our robot annually at RoboFest, scout troop meetings, Vacation Bible schools, Flying Cloud Air Show, Eden Prairie 4th of July Celebration, Minnesota State Fair, and at many of our sponsors’ locations. We also hosted our third 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 year we are adding a programming class.
  9. We have created a high capacity shooter that can hold 50-60 balls each cycle. We can intake balls from the floor and the hopper.
  10. Our robot can also actively place gears to score additional points and is set up to climb at the end of the match for a 50-point bonus.