FIRST World Championships: Rice University, Dean Kamen and More!
My name is Madeleine and I’m the founder of Kids and Tech. I’m also a junior in high school, obsessed with STEM and robotics, and can’t wait to attend a cool engineering college soon. For those of you in elementary or junior high (or you parents out there), I wanted to share a bit about each day of the FIRST Robotics World Championships. I had been told it is a “life changing” experience and had the opportunity to attend two years ago in St. Louis. This year, the event is being held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Attending the FIRST World Championships is life-changing and over the next few days, I’ll tell you all about it. I highly encourage you to get involved in robotics now and when you are in high school, you can be here too!
Today was set-up day. That meant that I had some free time to explore Houston before heading to the convention center to get ready for tomorrow. I decided it would be the perfect time for a tour of Rice University, a top engineering university just 4 miles from the city. WOW! It is a beautiful school with small class sizes and an engineering design lab with every tool imaginable. An engineer’s dream! About 40% of their students study engineering and 30% study science. Their engineering school is currently ranked 18th in the nation and I can see why.
I then took the opportunity to attend the Scholarship Fair and spoke with universities that provide FIRST Scholarships. Did you know that there are more than $50 million in FIRST scholarships available every year? Like FIRST likes to say – Apply, Apply, Apply! Now that I’m a junior, I will be applying for these scholarships this fall.
After the tour, I attended a training for the FIRST Ambassador program, a program for students to help VIPs learn more about FIRST Robotics and know where to go in the venue. Tomorrow I’ll serve as an ambassador and I’m so honored that they asked me to help in this way. During the training, I met Dean Kamen – the founder of FIRST Robotics! I have to admit I was a little star struck. He has created this amazing program that is helping so many students discover their passion and he has invented some cool stuff too. Have you seen the standing wheelchair?
I’m so excited for tomorrow where our robot will compete in the World Championships with hundreds of teams from over 20 countries! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!