Why FIRST Robotics?
If you strive to be a creator, an inventor, a designer, an innovator, a leader, or anything of those sorts, then you’ve come to the right place. FIRST Robotics takes students and turns them into the next world leaders. Whether that is through engineering, running a business, photography, marketing, public speaking, almost anything you could think of. But you may ask, “Why FIRST Robotics?” There is so much more to the program than just prepping kids for their future, it is also a program that will change your life.
In FIRST, there are two main terms that define who they are. These terms are Gracious Professionalism (a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community) and Coopertition (displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition; teams should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete). With these values in place, students learn to treat others with love and respect, no matter the circumstances. These also allow friendships to blossom and connections that last a lifetime form. I have made some of my closest friends through being on a FIRST team. I feel like I’ve found the people who get me, the people who accept me for the way that I am. I am also able to pursue my passion while having fun and doing it with people who have the same passion as me. And I owe it all to FIRST.
To add on to what was just stated, FIRST Robotics is more than just building a robot and competing with it. Although that is already quite fun, there is so much more that takes place that makes the competitions a blast. Each team has a pit, which is where the robot is stored and the team works to repair it, but teams decorate their pits to create a fun and lively area. Also, teams tend to make buttons, bracelets, or other things to hand out to people who come visit their pits. Believe me, collecting buttons is way more fun than I can make it sound in writing. In between matches, specific music will be played and that becomes designated dance breaks. Everyone gets away from the stress of the competition, relaxes, and dances to their hearts content. My favorite is when they play Cotton Eye Joe, because my team takes that song very seriously and its absolutely hilarious and fun to watch and experience.
Overall, FIRST Robotics has completely changed my life. Coming into the program three years ago, I never would have imagined to be as outgoing and confident as I am now. My passion for creating and designing has grown like crazy, and I look forward to pursuing an engineering career in my future. So, if you are a student who is interested in STEM, look into FIRST Robotics. If you are a parent who wants your child to have an amazing opportunity to make friends and learn amazing life skills for their future, look into FIRST Robotics. It will transform your life.