By Andy Choi
National 4-H Council recently pronounced that 18 4-H youth will participate at the FIRST Robotics Championship. Hosted by the international For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics organization, this world’s finals competition includes robotics teams that will compete against 400 other teams to win the title. The event takes place between April 26 and 29 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Team Thrust's robot (1501) balances with its two teammates on a moveable bridge during a match at the Boilermaker Regional FIRST Competition at the Purdue Armory in Indiana on March 15. The team won a place at the FIRST Robotics Competition world finals April 26-29 in St. Louis
Following a six-week project that included design, construction and programming of a basketball playing robot that weighs 120-lb for Rebound Rumble, the teams are now eligible to compete in the finals.
The 2012 competition will have a large number of teams as a result of 4-H's growing robotics program, with twice the number of teams than the 2011 world finals. 4-H has introduced a new robotics initiative with sponsorship grants from Lockheed Martin and jcpenney. Through this curriculum, 87 robotics teams have been raised from West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia. The student teams in 4-H youth FIRST Robotics are from various backgrounds ranging from urban to suburban, who will unite together to promote engineering.
A longitudinal study by Tufts University states that the 4-H youth have two-fold possibility of outshining in science, technology engineering, and applied math, compared to others. Furthermore, these teams anticipate pursuing science careers in future.
Eighteen teams have been qualified to compete in the FIRST Robotics Championship at St. Louis. The teams include EMS, Air Strike, The Corps, GreenVillians, Team Thrust, Rogue Robots of 4-H, Exploding Bacon, SUITS, Apple Pi, SEMO, Ninja Monkees, TechnoTornadoes, pwnage, Prototype X, Hard Botties, 4-H Techno Clovers, Bit by Bit 4-H, and RoboKronos.