FIRST Robotics is one of the best educational experiences available right now. You build robots that play sports against other schools. It combines the learning of Robotics with the intangibles and excitement of sports. Strong students learn very high level skills to become real high flyers in life. Weaker students gain inspiration, excitement and motivation towards learning dreaded subjects like science, technology, engineering and math. I've seen at risk students choose to stay in school and build successful careers because of Robotics. I've seen smart kids learn the work ethic and confidence needed to launch start-ups and have them purchased by Google. I've even seen it save an entire school by providing a marquee program that the entire community rallied around, causing enrollments double. It is a life changing program for everyone who gets involved. We just need to keep spreading the word about this amazing program, because every student should have access to it.
The FIRST Robotics program has given 4-H members a wonderful opportunity: to work together with youth from various schools, mentor youth, learn from experts in the engineering field, time management skills, decision making skills and creative development. Youth who have been involved learned a great deal from the adult mentors and industry experts who offered to help. In the community, publicity from the project created a greater awareness of opportunities in the science field and robotics in our town. As a springboard, a summer robotics camp was launched to help provide a feeder system for the high school program. All aspects of the project have been positive. The most difficult part is the funding area which is very competitive in a small community. Thank you.
FIRST LEGO League is the worst Non-profit organization that I have ever dealt with. They are rude to their volunteers and claim that the Partners in the state will provide training, medallions, etc. They provide nothing to the volunteers, teams or children. The staff in New Hampshire are incompetent and disorganized. When complaints are made against a partner they do nothing at all. I would not recommend this program to any school or community. It is expensive and does not even come close to meeting all that they claim in their marketing. Save your money and use EARLY robotics or Vex or anything else.
Review from Guidestar
For the past three years I have attended various FIRST Robotic Events both at the regional and national competitions, as Johnson & Wales University is a scholarship provider. From the organizers down to the students, I have been impressed with the different events FIRST puts on. Engineers are needed badly in the workforce and FIRST has provided an opportunity at such a young age for students to work on big projects. These projects have helped develop the technology skills that lay a great foundation for their future careers in technology. We look forward to working with FIRST for many years to come.
First Robotics is a truly inspiring program. It sucessfully brings together industry, universities, and high schools to build and support the pipline of students who will go into the technological workforce.