ST. CHARLES, MO – Thousands of worldwide and regional high school students took part in learning about the rules for 2019’s season of FIRST Robotics competition.
The event was held for the second time at Lindenwood University.
Ashleigh Bick-Dawes is only a junior at Francis Howell Central High School and attended the event with Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County, but she said that she already has an idea about her future career path.
“Probably work for NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and build some spaceships,” Bick-Dawes said.
That’s why Saturday’s kickoff was the perfect start that could help the teen reach her NASA dreams.
“You get to work with different teams, but you also get to work with like nitty-gritty engineering, building, and coding and there is also the physical hands-on building you can do,” she continued.
The event introduces the teams to coding, programming, and engineering in an environment where they work together to solve a yearly robotics challenge.
This season’s challenge is ‘Deep Space’ where students are tasked with filling spaceships with different materials and get them ready to launch.
“FIRST Robotics really helps to build upon the S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program that students are receiving in their high school,” explained TJ Rains, Vice President for Information Technology, “and provides a real experience so that they can have real success in the future.”
Building a robot won’t be Matthew Hayes’ first rodeo. Hayes is a senior at St. Louis University High School.
“I want to become an engineer that’s what I’m planning on doing,” said Hayes, “so it’s just been a great experience over the years with learning how to use tools and different materials.”
Rains said the university is hoping to host a statewide competition for FIRST Robotics in the summer.