NFPA Shadows a FIRST® Robotics Team

When I visited the Hartland Arrowhead High School FIRST® Robotics Team to talk about the new NFPA Fluid Power Challenge FIRST Robotics Scholarship last month, I had no idea how much of a commitment being on a FIRST team was. I found out that students learn not only about science and engineering, but also about how to stay organized and work efficiently. When I arrived, there must have been 30-40 students listening to a guest speaker talk about dedication, commitment, and communication when you own your own business and how that all relates to being on a FIRST team. Like a business, during work time, the students broke off into their separate teams: programming, design & build, marketing, and business and fundraising. These teams were fully in action and preparing for the FIRST launch on January 7, which is when they find out the task that their robot will have to complete for the competition. After the launch they only have six weeks to complete their robot.

One thing that stuck with me from this visit was the energy and excitement about this project. It is HARD work and every one of them, including the adult mentors, are completely involved and doing everything in their power to be successful.

See what it’s all about. Here is the video update from the night I was there. I feel honored to be mentioned!

Thanks to NFPA member Price Engineering for their sponsorship of this team. If you would like more information on how to be a mentor of a FIRST Team, or if you would like to be a reviewer for the NFPA Fluid Power Challenge FIRST Scholarship applications, please contact Lynn Beyer at lbeyer@nfpa.com or 414-778-3364.

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