Updated: Mar 30
Cover image: The Giddy Goat Head team logo.
Mishawaka Robotics has been increasingly gaining interest among students. The robotics students work through a program called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Inspires. FIRST Inspires is a nonprofit organization that has been working since 1989 to educate students from elementary to high school about robotics. It’s a great way to get young children interested in robotics and teach them about Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition-- core values that FIRST holds. Gracious Professionalism is about making sure everyone feels comfortable while together and being kind to everyone. Coopertition means, in short, that one should always be kind and helpful to others because although someone may be a competitor in one game, they could be an ally in the next.
There are three different divisions of FIRST, where students can build robots and compete with other teams. SCM has teams in all three. First Lego League (FLL) is a competition created for elementary and middle grade students. They work to build a small robot out of lego parts, then get to program them to drive on a table sized field. This year, the FLL game is called Super Powered. School City of Mishawaka has one FLL team, which operates out of Twin Branch Elementary School. Each team gets to work together to come up with a creative team name to go along with their assigned team number. They chose to be called the Sunny Delights. The Sunny Delights #16059 recently won the top honors at the Indiana State Championship. They will be traveling to Texas in the spring to compete in a National level competition.
The second division of FIRST is First Tech Challenge (FTC). This year, SCM has four participating teams. FTC allows students in grades 7-12 to participate. Their season this year is called Power Play. Team members work together to build a robot out of parts that are typically already cut prior to building. The highest division of FIRST teams are First Robotics Challenge (FRC), which is grades 10-12. here at Mishawaka High School we have one team, the Giddy Goats #7477. While FTC is given prepared parts to build the robots, FRC has to make and cut the majority of the parts by themselves. FRC helps to prepare students for real life experiences in jobs.
FIRST is a great program to get youth into STEM and inspire them. Here at MHS, active team members hope to grow the interest in robotics as time progresses.