Gene Haas Foundation Announces FIRST Robotics Sponsorship

The Gene Haas Foundation announced this week that they are expanding their relationship with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) through sponsorship of the nationwide FIRST Robotics Competitions.

For the past 3 years, the Foundation has {Read More} been the primary sponsor of a regional FIRST Robotics Competition held at Ventura College, not far from the headquarters of Haas Automation. The growth of this partnership comes from a natural synergy between Haas Automation, the Gene Haas Foundation and FIRST’s missions: to create awareness of and grow engagement in manufacturing and engineering opportunities for our youth through STEM.

Schools that qualify for Gene Haas Foundation funding can allocate a portion of their designated scholarship grant money for sponsorship of their FIRST Robotics team. Details are available on the GRANTS page of the Gene Haas Foundation website.

FIRST Robotics has grown in size and stature over the past decade. In recent years, The Walt Disney Company has designed competitions, including medieval and steampunk themes. This year, The Boeing Company has been very involved in the design of the competition, dubbed “Destination: Deep Space,” in honor of the 50th anniversary of man’s first step on the moon.

FIRST makes it clear, they are about more than just robots. Their impact, explained in their promotional materials is:

• STEM awareness, Skills, and Intent

• Innovation and Entrepreneurship

• 21st Century Work Skills

And their success is difficult to ignore. FIRST programs are succeeding in a number of areas. Last year, 530,000 students on 61,000 teams from 91 countries around the world participated in FIRST competitions, from Lego League to Tech Challenge to Robotics Competition. FIRST also reports that 91% of students participating in a FIRST program express interest in going to college. Furthermore, 75% of FIRST participants have ended up in STEM-related careers.

The current season of the FIRST Robotics Competitions is now underway, and it’s crunch time for participants. During the next 6 weeks, students will work together to design, program, build, and test their teams’ robots in preparation for this year’s challenge.

Be sure to come visit us for the Innovation Faire at the FIRST World Championships in both Houston and Detroit this spring. Let The Games Begin.