AZFirst, an Arizona based organization supporting the programs of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), has launched the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Arizona Regional 2011.
This program is focused on linking students, educational and industrial experts for imparting principles of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to high-school students through a robot-developing challenge, thereby paving the way for a thrilling robotics contest. It was declared that all these participants are entitled to apply for scholarships worth $12 million.
Registration for the FRC Arizona Regional 2011 was completed between September 30 and November 1. Registered student teams will be formally declared worldwide through NASA broadcast on January 8, 2011. All the teams will select their robotics kit and with the support of instructors from various industries, every team will develop six robots, each weighing 120 pounds and will send them to the contest which will be conducted in Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona from March 18 to 19. Selected high-school teams will participate in the FRC Championship, scheduled between April 27 and 30, 2011 in Atlanta.
The major sponsor for the FRC Arizona Regional is Microchip Technology. Other sponsors include ON Semiconductor, the Craig and Barbara Barrett Foundation, Medtronic and US Airways.
Science Foundation Arizona has offered $150,000 matching-funds for encouraging student teams from underprivileged countries. Other than learning technical aspects by means of designing and coding their robot to perform the desired task, the contestants get a chance to improve various skills like team-work, project management and analytical thinking by working with industry experts.
According to Carol Popovich, Principal Investigator for the grant and Arizona’s FIRST Regional Director, the matching-funds endowment has offered a significant opportunity for industries in creating a workforce comprising both technical and life skills and he added that by acknowledging this initiative, they are accountable for creating innovative experiences to the children.