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Inspire Young Minds

Like many automation technology suppliers, Rockwell Automation encourages the various programs of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Shown is a picture from Automation Fair where local jr. hi students showed off their FIRST Lego League entry.
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This not-for-profit organization was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. The organization's vision is to create a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people can dream of becoming science and technology heroes.

FIRST Robotic Challenge (FRC) challenges teams of young minds and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is secondary.

FIRST also offers the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a more affordable and accessible program for high school students, the FIRST Lego League (FLL) for 9 to 14-year-olds and the Junior FIRST Lego League (FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Teams from the FRC, FTC and FLL programs will be at the booth demonstrating their robots.

Gary Mintchell has either worked in or covered manufacturing for his 30+ year career that included stints in product development, manufacturing engineering and IT-related projects. Having helped found Automation World in 2003, Gary retired from his day-to-day editor-in-chief duties in 2013. He continues to cover automation technology developments and related industry trends for Automation World. Contact Gary at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @garymintchell.
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