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Society of Women Engineers

FIRST Robotics Competition Kicks Off for 2016

More than 3,000 teams and 78,000 high school students compete from around the world in 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition.

Published On: January 2016

20 Teams Received Grants from SWE and Motorola Solutions Foundation

More than 3,000 teams and 78,000 high school students from around the world have just found out the theme of the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition called FIRST STRONGHOLD. In just six weeks, they will build, program and test robots with the guidance of more than 19,000 professional engineers.

FIRST Robotics Competition teams may apply for a grant from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) if the team makes a commitment to gender equity. Out of 300 teams to apply, SWE gave $1,000 grants to 20 teams competing this year. The program is funded by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The gender ratio on these teams must be at least 50/50 girls to boys. They must have a girl driver and complete SWE’s Outreach 4 Change online modules, which provide age-appropriate diversity and inclusion training.

One of the teams that received a SWE grant is the Harlem Knights. Watch the video below to see how they are preparing. If SWE members are interested in working with a FIRST Team, they can contact Randy Freedman.

In this year’s competition, two alliances of three robots each are on a quest to breach their opponents’ fortifications, weaken their tower with boulders, and capture the opposing tower. Robots score points by breaching opponents’ defenses and putting boulders through goals in the opposing tower. During the final 20 seconds of the Quest, robots may surround and scale the opposing tower to capture it. Watch the videos below for more details.

Teams of 10 or more high school students are challenged to build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors, raise funds, design a team “brand,” and hone their teamwork skills.

They compete with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at more than 120 events in 24 countries around the world, leading up to the 2016 FIRST Championship April 27-30, 2016 in St. Louis, MO.

Sponsored by:
BP – My Achievements
Brown – Executive Master
SWE – Diverse Podcast