Competing in the FIRST Robotics World Championship is the goal of most high school robotics clubs across the country. Hundreds of high school teams built robots that qualified for—and advanced to—the world competition taking place April 18-21 in Houston and April 25-28 in Detroit. Boeing offers its support for many of these schools with financial sponsorship and volunteers from the company.
Boeing recently awarded the international K-12 not-for-profit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) a $1.5 million grant to support young innovators through FIRST programming. The company will assist in the development of targeted mentorship programs that increase STEM diversity, proficiency and interest among K-12 students – specifically among underserved and geographically diverse populations.
“Whether they’re solving technical challenges in the classroom or putting their skills to work at a FIRST competition, it’s remarkable what these young minds are capable of creating,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “Boeing is committed to supporting STEM programs like FIRST through employee volunteerism and charitable grants. By exposing students to STEM subjects and experiences and teaching them how to apply what they’ve learned in real and relevant ways, we hope to inspire future generations of dreamers and doers.”
For years, Boeing employees have volunteered their free time to assist local high school students in FIRST programs, which provide engaging hands-on robotics challenges developed to ignite curiosity and develop valuable science, engineering, teamwork and problem-solving skills. These men and women serve as mentors to the students to help inspire their passion for STEM fields.
Watch the video for a closer look at the impact these mentors have on high school robotics groups of all skill levels, from newly formed clubs to veteran teams competing in the World Championships.