FIRST in STEM – Judging at the Championship

This week is the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis. I am going to be a judge there again this year as part of team Newton. There will be over 600 teams from across the globe in the FRC championship.


FIRST is on a mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. They have developed into a program with a proven track record of impact on student’s education and career choices, which I’ve been part of for many years.


I’ll try and post some pictures to this blog if I get a chance. If you’d like to watch it online, NASA will have a live webcast.

This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Recycle Rush:

I’ve found FRC to be an exciting and enlightening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by those participating.

The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how the robots perform on the field, like:

  • Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
  • Project planning
  • Quality/safety
  • Technical achievement
  • Business plan and marketing

The on field performance is not judged, since it has its own rules… Referees determine the winners of that portion of the competition.

You can see video from this year’s North Texas Regional, if you are interested.


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