Sunday, 22 May 2005 - 10:50 AM

This presentation is part of: Using Technology to Inspire Students, Teachers and Mentors

Robotics as a Vehicle to Achievement, Entrepreneurship and Higher Education

Peter Kieselbach, Pharmacopeia Drug Discovery, Inc., Cranbury, NJ

To meet the challenge of inspiring diverse populations of secondary school students to pursue careers in science and technology, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) created robotics competitions that annually attract tens of thousands of students.

Recognizing the importance of these initiatives, major corporations sponsor teams and events while universities annually award millions of dollars in scholarships to graduating students. Parents, educators and professionals volunteer as mentors and many invest hundreds of hours each year to make these programs happen. What is it about FIRST robotics that makes it so successful?

This presentation will discuss the draw of FIRST robotics programs and their impact on students, adult mentors and educators. Though robots are the ‘hook' to draw students in, these programs encompass much more than just robotics. Many teams are modeled after corporate multi-disciplinary teams, with engineering, marketing, communications and manufacturing subgroups.

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