There's a program in our highs schools that inspires students to build robots but also build on fundamental team and leadership skills.  And Bangor area high school's are getting the full effects of the program, to say the least!

Bucksport's The Bucks Wrath are event finalists, Brewer's Orange Chaos are event finalists and won the Industrial Design award, Searsport's Midcoast MAINEiacs won the Judges' Award and Old Town's robOTies are district event winners at this year's New England region's FIRSTRobotics Competition.

The event took place in Lewiston, March 22-23, 2018 and included 40 teams participating from all over New England.

The competition is a part of a national program called FIRST which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, that was intended to inspire young people to be leaders using science, engineering and technology to be innovative and to foster self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

The FIRST program put forth a challenge in January that asks teamsto design, build and program a robot to perform specific tasks for a competition and complete all of this within 6 weeks.

Volunteer and Brewer, Orange Chaos, team mentor, Rebecca Saulnier, speaks about the program:

It is a fantastic program and it still amazes me that the challenge gets released and from that release date they have 6 weeks to design, prototype, build, wire and program a robot. All while following many rules. It is a lot of fun and we hope more kids decide to check out the shop and join the team.

Saulnier states the FIRST program gives the kids a chance to really challenge themselves. It gives them the opportunity to have fun with teammates, helps inspire kids in many ways and helps kids learn some great life skills such as communication, amongst other things.

 

I wanted to know what kinds of post high school aspirations the kids in this program have and Saulnier went on to describe the varieties of paths these kids plan on taking:

We have kids that want to be Engineer's (there is a lot of different types Electrical, Civil, Chemical, Mechanical, Computer, Architectural etc...).  Some want to join the Military, be chef's, graphic designers, computer repair, or just haven't figured it out yet.

 

They know they want to help solve problems. They just might not know what kind of problem yet.

Check out the competition for yourself in the video:

Here is the full list of winner for the New England region's FIRST Robotics Competition.

For more information check out the following links: www.firstinspires.org and pinetreedistrict.org.