Programming a Robot for F.I.R.S.T.
Introduce students to robotics and develop teamwork, problem solving skills, public speaking, and STEM interests
What do teamwork, problem solving, public speaking, STEM and fun have in common? The answer is FIRST robotics! FIRST is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring youth in the areas of STEM. It provides four separate age-appropriate programs worldwide and has a proven track record of success. In 2016 this program scored $30 million in scholarships for students.
These programs are high-energy with a proven long-term impact for youth, and an equally exhilarating impact on the volunteers. There are many options for involvement across FIRST’s many programs.
- Ages 6-10 (Primary/elementary students)
- Ages 11-14 (Middle grade students)
- Ages 14-19 (Secondary/high school students)
What’s the goal of this kit?
- Age-appropriate programs for students of all ages to help them gain skills and confidence in programming at various levels.
- Volunteers who share in the excitement of seeing kids excel, and are awed by the things these youth have achieved.
Why is this topic important?
- Students learn teamwork, problem solving, public speaking, STEM and more while having a blast! All are life skills they will find useful as they take on future challenges.
What do I need to know about this activity?
FIRST programs need people with a wide array of skills and interests. This kit contains overviews of many different roles that need someone like you! Among the possible options, you can:
- Work with groups of students from 6 to 18 years old.
- Volunteer for a one-day event, or stay involved for an entire season.
- Work with adults to plan, set up, or pack up.
- Assist with fundraising, communication, or other logistics.
- The time commitment depends upon the role you select. You can feel free to change roles in the future. All it takes is your willingness to help!
- IBMers can apply volunteering hours to their THINK40 total.
- The main resource in this kit is the Volunteer Guide (Robotics for Programming a Robot for FIRST). This describes a few of the key roles associated with these programs. However, this just scratches the surface.
- For a more complete list of roles, please visit www.firstinspires.org and click on Volunteers.
- For additional information about FIRST and its programs, visit www.firstinspires.org.
- IBM developerWorks TV has videos that may help you engage students on STEM topics: developer.ibm.com/tv/topics
- Frequently Asked Questions about volunteer activity kits