Greenwood, Mishawaka, Lafayette and Kokomo cities and their local high schools have been selected as tournament host sites for the IndianaFIRST 2019 Statewide Robotics Competition (FRC). This is a tournament that matches high school robotics teams against each other for a chance to represent Indiana in national and international competitions. This STEM based robotics program is designed to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting sports like mentor-based programs that build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.
Collin Fultz, IndianaFIRST, Inc. president said “We are very excited to announce our event locations for the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season. I believe that the strength of our teams in Indiana is shown in the number of strong proposals we received. We thank everyone who applied and look forward to our three District Qualifying events and our State Championship.”
Renee Becker-Blau, Executive Director of the organization said, “IndianaFIRST is building the next generation of problem solvers through mentorship, hands on learning, and intense competition. The students involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) program in Indiana have a 75 percent chance of going on to a STEM career. Students in this program are learning the skills that employers in Indiana want their employees to have. We are looking forward to bringing the FRC program to a new community in Greenwood and returning back to the St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, and Kokomo areas!”
Rich Arkanoff, EdD, Center Grove Community School Corporation Superintendent said, “We are incredibly proud of the growth of our robotics programs in Center Grove. We renovated an existing building on our main campus into a STEM lab to encourage and inspire STEM learning for students and to provide a permanent home for our robotics teams. We kept the teams in mind during the construction of our Student Activity Center addition to Center Grove High School with the hopes that it would one day serve as a venue for robotics events. It is great to see those plans come to fruition with the announcement of this Indiana FIRST competition. We look forward to hosting this event and many more to come.”
Jeff Henderson, Center Grove High School Principal said, “We are excited to provide the opportunity for Red Alert Robotics to host an Indiana FIRST district competition at Center Grove High School. Our new Student Activity Center should serve as a great venue for this exciting competition. We look forward to welcoming all of the teams that will participate and look forward to a great event.”
Nathan Coulombe, Lead Mentor for Red Alert Robotics, and Tournament Director of the Center Grove District Event said, “Red Alert is excited to host an IndianaFIRST district competition at Center Grove High School in the brand-new Student Activities Center. We have a great relationship with the school corporation, and they were very supportive of our tournament bid. The competition bid was several years in the making with the Student Activities Center being the final piece of the puzzle. With the addition of this district event, we are now able to host official events at all 4 levels of FIRST K-12 programs.”
FIRST® is tackling the trend of declining enrollment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs by using a competition sports style model that makes STEM learning fun and inspiring for students. Some have questioned if something “fun” can be an effective tool to change peoples’ lives but initial data from a three year study by FIRST® on students in their first year of college indicates that FIRST’s® positive impacts continue into post-secondary education, with FIRST® alumni continuing to show impacts on STEM-related attitudes, as well as impacts on interest in engineering and technology-related majors, engineering course-taking, and STEM-related internships and summer jobs. Results to date indicate that FIRST ® is already making a lasting difference in career interests and educational choices for the young people who participate in the program. So, students can learn and have fun at the same time! See the full study results at firstinspires.org/about/impact.
This competition is part of the larger organization, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and their FIRST® Robotics Competition for high school students. Over 3,600 teams, more than 91,000 students, and nearly 26,000 professional mentors across the world from 27 countries (including places like Canada, Mexico, China, Israel, and Australia), will be participating in District, Regional, and State-level events in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FIRST World Championship in Detroit, Michigan. and Houston, Texas.
FIRST® was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST® robotics competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, robotics teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. These competitions create “real-world engineering” experiences for all participating students.
In addition to teacher mentors, volunteer professional mentors lend their time and expertise to help guide the work and development by each FIRST robotics team. For more information about this event, or FIRST Robotics, please contact: Renee Becker-Blau, IndianaFIRST Executive Director, at 414 704-1415. Additional information is also available at the website: indianafirst.org/ or firstinspires.org/.