FIRST Robotics Gets Girls Building Robots!
Whoever says building robots is just for boys has clearly never seen a FIRST robotics competition in action!
FIRST has been around since 1989. It stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," and sets out to inspire kids to take interest in science and technology by mentoring them in exciting programs. Through those programs, they can inspire the kids to be innovative and hone their science, engineering, and technology skills in a way that teaches them to work together that science is cool!
Kids as young as 6 can become a part of FIRST's robotics program in the Junior FIRST Lego League, in which they complete challenges by building LEGO models and more.
FIRST kids over 9 can participate in the FIRST LEGO League, where they build robots using LEO Mindstorms technology, which includes software and hardware that lets them make little customizable robots.
For the older kids, there are large incentives. Over 875 scholarship opportunities are available through colleges and sponsors of FIRST.
In the FIRST Tech Challenge, high schoolers design, build, and programs robots to put them to the test. The most advanced of the programs, the FIRST Robotics Competition, has kids building robots to compete against other robots in challenges. Professional engineers serve as their mentors and coaches. They call it "the hardest fun you'll ever have."
The program inspires lots of girls to participate. The winning teams in 2010 and 2011, "Miss Daisy" and "Hawaiian Kids," were composed of both boys and girls!
"How many extracurricular activities let you say that you made THIS, and it's a six-foot, hundred-pound moving machine," asks a girl in a video for the program. "Not many!"
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