Sharing our Expertise
Mentoring future engineers
Students shine through FIRST Robotics
For four days in April, more than 10,000 of the smartest and most creative students from all over the world competed head to head in a most unusual arena.
But this was no academic or athletic competition, even though the atmosphere resembled a sporting event with cheering and sign waving from the sidelines.
Rather, the contest involved robots, designed and built by students under the guidance of mentors, performing set tasks in competition with other teams’ robots.
Eduardo Fernandez, a senior at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, was part of a student team mentored by Boeing employee Daniel Palomino and aptly summed up his experience: "FIRST is so fun. I plan to major in mechanical engineering. I want to do this the rest of my life!"
What is FIRST? It’s the nonprofit organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST’s worldwide robotic competitions for kids ages 14–18 is one way Boeing and its employees are providing young people with the inspiration and knowledge they need to become tomorrow’s technical workers—and candidates for Boeing’s future workforce.
"When you excite students with hands-on learning experiences, success soars. These young innovators will solve the problems we don’t even know exist yet."
—Rick Stephens, Boeing senior vice president, Human Resources and Administration.
"I believe we will see future Boeing engineers coming out of the FIRST program," said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Defense, Space & Security. He attended the late April FIRST Robotics
Championship in St. Louis.
Before the championships, more than 150 teams supported by Boeing grants and mentors participated in regional competitions across the United States. Twenty-nine of those teams earned a spot in the finals.
"Employees serving as mentors are helping prepare students to meet future challenges and shaping the future of innovation," said Rick Stephens, senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration.
Boeing has long supported FIRST through grants and educational scholarships, and with volunteers.
"When you excite students with hands-on learning experiences, success soars," Stephens added. "These young innovators will solve the problems we don’t even know exist yet."