An Engineering Mentor's Take on "FIRST" Robotics
Tech Directions Volume 72, Number 8, ISSN 1062-9351
In this article, the author describes a program that he says has "made being smart cool." "FIRST" (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics has made a significant contribution toward progress in advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses and STEM careers with young people. "FIRST" Robotics offers a complete, hands-on educational experience. The program is not just about having the students build a robot--it is also about building confidence and self-esteem in the students in the course of fostering their interest in STEM activities. The students who take part in "FIRST" Robotics are not only responsible for designing, fabricating, building, and testing the robot but also web page design, building a business plan, creating a bill of materials, formulating and maintaining a budget, safety, marketing, fund raising, and community service. Ninety-three percent of "FIRST" students indicate that they have learned how to solve unexpected problems or how to find a new or better way of doing things through their experiences with "FIRST" Robotics. Ninety-four percent say it has helped them learn to carefully weigh options before making decisions. The author sees "FIRST" Robotics as being not just about building a robot--it is also about building successful future citizens and STEM professionals.
Jackson, J. (2013). An Engineering Mentor's Take on "FIRST" Robotics. Tech Directions, 72(8), 13-15.