Delphi Technologies and FIRST join forces to inspire the next generation of pioneers.
Electrified bots, cargo rockets and space adventures – sounds like a new sci-fi movie! However, these are actually the means by which young people all over the world are exploring their interests in technology and expanding their skills in engineering – through a program called FIRST Robotics.
Every year, FIRST releases a new “game” in which teams compete. For 2019’s DEEP SPACE challenge, teams simulated travelling to outer space in order to evade sand storms and collect the most cargo. They had to design, build and operate robots that were able to get off and on different sized platforms; pick up and place different sized objects; throw objects; and operate either autonomously or remotely. With guidance from coaches and mentors, the students created some pretty spectacular robots, earned awards, and won competitions!
These students created some impressive robots, all the while learning valuable skills, gaining confidence and having a good time with their peers. And these are just a few examples of the impact of the program. This is why Delphi Technologies has partnered with FIRST to sponsor teams across the U.S., so that they are able to continue learning and building, and hopefully turn into future pioneers one day.
What is FIRST?
FIRST is a non-profit organization that inspires and encourages young students all over the world to pursue their passions for STEM. This mentor-based program enables students in grades K-12 to develop professional skills, join a collaborative and inclusive team, and spread the FIRST message to create a sense of community in their area.
Although FIRST emphasizes the development of STEM-related skills such as robot design and programming, students in the program also learn important professional skills, such as effective communication, gracious professionalism, collaboration, project management and leadership. In addition to traditional engineering and building roles, many teams have fundraising directors, sponsor liaisons, and graphic designers, giving the students experience in other business-related functions. As a team member from the Davison Middle School Wildcards said, “kids coming out of this program know how to work hard, make commitments, works as a team and still know how to have fun.”
Similar to other school clubs and activities, FIRST gives students a chance to be a part of a community and engage with their peers, while being educational, competitive, fun and exciting. The idea is that as the students work together for a common purpose, they learn to accept, respect and value the differences of others.
Even though the build and competitive seasons are only a few months of the year, FIRST is a year-round activity. During the off-season, teams are actively participating in community activities and building awareness for robotics. The Volatile Chaos Inhibitors from Meridian Early College High School implemented a summer learning program where students in grades 6-9 can develop fundamental skills in robotics. And, the Ranger Robotics from Spencerport High School teach STEM lessons to elementary students and are mentors for the junior FIRST leagues.
All of the teams participate in community service, whether it be making blankets for a children’s hospital, cleaning up after a tornado, or laying wreaths at a cemetery. Overall, the students of FIRST are working to develop their technical and leadership skills while being a positive influence in their communities.
The 2019-2020 season.
Delphi Technologies is a proud sponsor of FIRST and its mission to inspire young people. For the 2019-2020 season, we supported 19 Delphi Technologies-affiliated teams across the U.S. If you would like to learn more about Delphi Technologies’ FIRST sponsorship, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for team updates throughout the season.