Haas Automation Supports FIRST® Championship Events

In April, more than 70,000 people from around the world – plus 1400 robots – descended upon Houston and Detroit for the 2019 FIRST® Championship events – the world’s largest celebration of STEM for students. The back-to-back events were the culmination of the FIRST® Robotics Competition season, with teams battling to determine the best of the best.

Each Championship event consisted of a FIRST Robotics Competition, as well as a FIRST Innovation Faire, where participants could experience interactive, hands-on exhibits, as well as connect with exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers, industry professionals, organizations, and learning institutions. Haas Automation, the Gene Haas Foundation – a Key Sponsor of the Championship events – and Haas Technical Education Center representatives exhibited at both Innovation Faires – and were a hit with the participants!

The teams flooded the Innovation Faire at both locations, waiting in line to come in and meet with exhibitors. There was heavy foot traffic throughout the Haas Automation booth each day, and plenty of exciting conversations with FIRST students, mentors, parents, and volunteers.

Students participating in FIRST Robotics Competition are given 6 weeks to design a robot to compete in regional competitions, with strict rules and limited resources. Regional and district winners move on to the world championships. Along the way, students develop valuable time-management, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

The challenges they face during the competitions inspire creativity, and promote excellent communication skills. Teams learn to exercise gracious professionalism – emphasizing the value of others, and showing respect for others on their team and throughout the robotics community. In addition, students must raise funds for their team, create team branding, and collaborate to market their team via community outreach – all necessary skills for running a small business.

The FIRST Championship events incorporated practice matches, qualification matches, and playoff matches, including quarterfinals, semi-finals, and several tiebreaker matches. The final competitions closed out the week at both events. The winning alliance in Houston consisted of a group of 4 California teams, the Greybots (Team 973) of Atascadero, CA, MadTown Robotics (Team 1323) of Madera, CA, Iron Panthers (Team 254) of Burlingame, CA, and The Vitruvian Bots of El Segundo, CA. The winning alliance in Detroit consisted of IMPI Robotics (Team 1025) of Ferndale, MI, Nighthawks (Team 614) of Alexandria, VA, Tigertrons (Team 222) of Tunkhannock, PA, and S.C.O.T.S Bots (Team 4776) of Howell MI.

Great job to all, and see you next year!