NFPA Exhibits at FIRST® Championship Stephanie Scaccianoce | May 17, 2017 In April, the Workforce team traveled to Houston and St. Louis to promote the NFPA Robotics Challenge FIRST® Scholarship, a merit-based $40K scholarship that will be awarded to a high school senior who uses fluid power in his or her 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition robot. This year, the competition theme was Steamworks. Teams were tasked with creating a robot that could collect fuel (balls), launch it into a boiler, deliver gears to its human pilots, and prepare for flight. Robots had to climb a rope and attach themselves to the airship. View the game animation. Outside of the design and build process, students demonstrated passion and commitment to their teams. They branded themselves by creating a theme displayed through their decorated footprint, matching costumes, buttons, pencils and various other takeaways. Mascots paraded around, chants were booming through the halls, and flags were proudly waving. Hair was dyed, faces were painted and some students used the pins of other teams to cover their clothing, clinking together with every step. Teams used anything and everything to show pride in the hard work that landed them at the championships in Houston and St. Louis. NFPA exhibited on Scholarship Row at the Innovation Fair in St. Louis, which allowed us to meet with a number of teams. Through our visits with students at both events, we saw fluid power being used in a number of robots. Of the thousands of students using fluid power in their designs, 75 went on to apply for the scholarship. For more pictures of the event, check out our Facebook page. The FIRST Championship in Houston attracted 401 competing teams. The FIRST Championship in St. Louis attracted 409 competing teams. Stay tuned for the winner our FIRST Robotics Challenge Scholarship, scheduled to be announced on or after July 1st.