Table of Contents
About FIRST Robotics
FIRST Robotics is an exciting, dynamic competition where high school teams from all over the world compete to build robots that can accomplish certain given tasks under a series of strict rules for the robot. Teams often have multiple components, including a business division for acquiring funding for the team, a coding division to write the programming for the robot, an engineering division to build the robot, and many more. Students work with adult mentors that give the team advice and help it succeed.
Teams compete in local competitions and are scored according to how well their robots accomplish the task at that competition under the given rules. They also earn recognition for their work in problem solving, Gracious Professionalism®, and promotion of STEM in their communities. Winning teams then go on to compete in higher level competitions, with the ultimate goal of competing at the FIRST Championship event.
The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
To learn more about FIRST, visit their webpage here.
YSEA Members’ Support for FIRST Robotics
YSEA is an Alliance Partner with FIRST, providing sponsors, volunteers, and expertise to teams, events, and to FIRST. It is also one of the only two current college alumni associations that have a relationship with FIRST. YSEA’s involvement with FIRST Robotics is now almost a decade old, with the two’s alliance being officially announced in December 5th, 2011.
Below are the ways that YSEA supports FIRST Robotics!
- John Siemon, one of the board members of YSEA, helps out the FIRST team from the local Watertown High School through The Siemon Company. Here are a few highlights from The Siemon Company’s involvement with FIRST!
- The company has been the primary sponsor to Team 237 Black Magic Robotics (Watertown High School’s FIRST Robotics team) since the team’s inception in 1998.
- The company provides support to employees who are interested in mentoring FIRST Robotics teams and being involved in FIRST.
- The company donated space to Team 237 to help the team simulate a FIRST Robotics competition environment.
- Over the past 5+ years, the company has also donated products, such as ethernet cords, to FIRST Robotics in order to help supply team kits to teams all across the country.
- Other members of YSEA also are mentors to FIRST Robotics teams and provide event support to local FIRST Robotics competitions. Some are also part of companies that provide kit parts to teams or to FIRST Robotics directly.
- YSEA also represents Yale College admissions at FIRST Robotics events and talks to prospective students about Yale as a place to get an in-depth education in STEM.
- YSEA works with Yale students who are also FIRST Robotics alums to encourage them to support local FIRST Robotics teams and events in New Haven.
Resources for FIRST Robotics Teams
FIRST at Yale (FaY) is a student organization at Yale dedicated to keeping the Yale community engaged with FIRST® robotics. On their website, you can find a plethora of resources that their members provide for FIRST Robotics teams, such as office hours, a business guide for FIRST teams, and video presentations from other FIRST alumni across the country!
Get Involved with FIRST Robotics!
FIRST Robotics is a wonderful space that promotes STEM education in a fun, exciting way. As the official FIRST Robotics site states, FIRST Robotics combines “the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology,” which gets students interested in STEM early on, increasing the chance that they will pursue careers in science and technology later on.
YSEA wants you to support STEM through volunteering with FIRST.
Teams need mentors & coaches, and events need volunteers. To get started, visit https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer and click on Register to Volunteer. There are different requirements for event and team volunteering, which are outlined on https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer/how-to-register. All volunteering requires is that you create an account at firstinspires.org. Once you create your account, please be sure to record your YSEA affiliation!
Once you create your account, access your Profile from https://my.firstinspires.org/Profile/Wizard/MyProfile/ and choose My Information from the menu. At the bottom of the page, you will see Your Affiliations. Choose “I have an affiliation with nonprofit/professional organizations,” select “Yale Science & Engineering Association” from the menu, and then click Save. See the below screenshot.
By volunteering, you will be making an impact on many young high school students’ STEM careers!
For more information regarding YSEA’s involvement with FIRST Robotics, please contact FIRST@YSEA.org.