Current events: FIRST Robotics
Judging by all the tweets going around and Facebook posts by some of my US-friends FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) on in US is a buzz of excitement. FIRST is short for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" and is a public charity that was founded in 1989. The game theme this year is "Rebound Rumble".
Taken from FRC's website
The Rebound RumbleSM robotics game is
played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.
FRC is devided into different categories:
Jr.FLL - Junior FIRST LEGO League for children 6 - 9 years old
FLL - FIRST LEGO League for elementary and middle-school students
FTC - FIRST Tech Challenge is for those who want to compete head to head in a sports model
FRC - FIRST Robotics Competition is dubbed "the vasristy sport for the mind"
These categories provide platforms for students of all ages to compete in real world applications of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and everyone involved is encouraged in areas of team work (even between competing teams), leadership and STEM skills. FRC has a rich history dating back to 1992. Check out this link for more details about this history.
FIRST in South Africa is taking the world by storm. FIRST LEGO League SA currently have about 110 local teams and over 1000 children taking part in 6 tournaments. This year they are also launching a Jr.FLL leg and the plan is to launch FTC in time as well. A minimum of 12 teams are required for the FTC to be launched.
This year the focus will be the "Senior Solutions Challenge" where teams will look at improving the quality of life for seniors by helping them to continue being inpdependant, engaged and connected to their communities. The local program will kick off in September 2012. For more information contact the local FIRST Operational Partnet - more information about him later.
All FRC's are governed by a set of core values and by embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.