Beyond the Classroom
The benefits of FIRST are not only upon on those directly involved with the team, but the whole community as well. Through our (and every other FIRST team's) community outreach efforts, FIRST teams love to make their community a better place. But the positive impacts of FIRST on the community are not just limited to active community service projects; the long term impacts on schools and the future of the country are even better.
Not every high school in the nation is a perfect one. Low test scores, low attendance, and low numbers of graduating students plague many a school. But that trend can be broken, and has been on several occasions, by the creation of a FIRST Robotics Team at that high school. On one occasion from a high school in Ohio, test scores rose double digit percentages, attendance rates soared, and the robotics team became harder and more prestigious to get into than even the basketball or football teams! As a result, the highly successful robotics team, every graduating senior on the team went to college, many on partial or full-ride scholarships from the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Yet even after all of this, the positive impact of FIRST in the community is not yet done. In a report released in January 2007 by the Connecticut Industry and Business Association, of whom Team 228 is working with to introduce high tech CNC manufacturing and engineering to our diverse and traditionally underrepresented groups, stated that Engineering and Business careers will be in major demand in Connecticut's near future. At the current pace, there are not enough students graduating with engineering and business careers in Connecticut to meet this demand.
Fulfilling the "I" in FIRST, Team 228 has been inspiring students to careers in these fields since 1999. So when we say "We don't just build robots. We build your future." we're representing everyone in our school and community. The future engineers that we inspire may one day cure a deadly disease invent a radical new innovation that revolutionizes the world and improve the quality of lives for everyone in the world.
FIRST was founded in 1989 by the renowned inventor Dean Kamen. The aim of FIRST is to inspire students to careers in math, science, and technology through a fun and engaging robotics competition, which provides students with the ability to meet one-on-one with industry leaders and engineers.
The initial FIRST Robotics Competition comprised of 28 teams competing in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium. The ensuing years brought rapid growth to the program, to include over 35,000 students, 2,000 teams from 11 countries, competing at over 50 District and Regional Events, culminating with the World Championship Event in St. Louis, Mo.