Enabling the Next Generation of Innovators with FIRST®


FIRST® Robotics Competition

SolidProfessor has once again joined forces with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international, K-12 not-for-profit organization in order to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. As a Gold Supplier of the FIRST® Robotics Competition, SolidProfessor donated online learning resources for the teams participating in the FIRST® Robotics Competition in order to help them learn the skills they need to design and build their robots. “Our job at FIRST® is to develop the next generation of problem solvers who need skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to solve the world’s biggest challenges,” said FIRST® President Donald E. Bossi. “We do this by offering a project-based learning experience with the support of companies like SolidProfessor. With its generous support at the Gold Supplier level, we are able to supply young innovators with the tools they need to get a jump on successful careers in STEM.” FIRST® Suppliers are putting the latest technology into the hands of students, giving them the opportunity to apply the same tools used by professional engineers and, ultimately, helping them learn real-world skills they will carry into the workplace. Some of the best FIRST® teams are using SolidProfessor to learn key skills before the competition even begins. Ryan Griggs, a teacher at Francis Parker High School who leads Team 2485, the W.A.R. Lords, shares, “Once the competition starts in January, we have to already have our skills up. Generally, the students continue to learn during the competition. The nice thing about SolidProfessor is that it makes students actually want to learn SOLIDWORKS, even before the competition starts. As challenges pop up, I direct my students to SolidProfessor.” Students can use SolidProfessor’s powerful search tool to find answers to their problems, allowing them to continue designing their robot. The team has to maximize their design time because they only have 6 weeks to build their robot. “Once we hit the competition in January, we need to already understand CAD because it’s go time. Even the mentors used SolidProfessor to get back up to speed.” On Jan. 7, 2017, FIRST® teams were shown the new FIRST® STEAMWORKS game playing field and received a Kickoff Kit made up of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – but no instructions. Working with adult Mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these young inventors create a robot, their teams participate in competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students. About FIRST® Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST® designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3. About SolidProfessor SolidProfessor provides next generation learning for teams, schools, and individuals to keep up with rapidly evolving engineering tools and technologies. Their online learning resources include video tutorials, hands-on exercises, and skills assessments to provide an engaging and effective learning experience.

Quinn Frantzen
About the Author

SolidProfessor Marketing Specialist and eight time mini hoop dunk contest champion.