Nonprofit Uses Virtual Environment to Strengthen Students' Skills
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires young people to participate in science and technology to motivate career interest in STEM fields. Each year, FIRST gathers over half a million students around the world for thousands of robotics competitions that culminate at two global championship events. However, due to COVID-19, FIRST adapted its program offerings and created new opportunities for teams to engage during the FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season. These opportunities spread across learning environments to ensure that a quality, flexible FIRST program experience remained available for young people, when and where needed. Each high school FIRST Robotics Competition team had the option to participate in three virtual challenges: Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm, Infinite Recharge at Home, and the Game Design Challenge. These thematic robot challenges helped to enhance engineering and teamwork skills for FIRST Robotics Competition teams in place of season-long in-person events and culminating Championship events usually held in Houston, TX and Detroit, MI.
In the FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm, teams identified a problem or opportunity and designed a solution to help people (or a community of people) keep, regain, or achieve optimum physical and/or mental health and fitness through active play or movement.
For the Infinite Recharge at Home Challenge, teams demonstrated infinite recharge robot performance remotely and competed for judged awards. Teams also showed off what their robots and drivers could do in skills challenges based on the infinite recharge game. Finally, teams illustrated their robot’s technical qualities by sharing information with judges remotely in competition for traditional machine awards.
The Game Design Challenge is as simple as it sounds. Teams designed a new FIRST Robotics Competition game and participated in an interview with FIRST Robotics Competition Judges to be eligible for challenge-specific awards and recognition.
For over 10 years, FedEx has supported FIRST competitions around the world. And through FedEx Cares, our team members volunteer at championship events in support of the next generation of STEM leaders. Partnering with FIRST allows FedEx to reach a young demographic of future customers and employees by utilizing the global network of innovation that is the core of FedEx business.
For more information on FedEx Cares, please click here.