To provide funding and leadership for students in Wilsonville and the surrounding areas to participate in the FIRST (firstinspires.org/) robotics competition programs and to support FIRST’s outreach objectives.
For Parents and Mentors
Children between the ages of 6-18 can participate through one of four programs for different age groups.
- FIRST LEGO League Junior (Jr.FLL)
- LEGO League (FLL)
- FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
- FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
Like for youth sports, teams are typically run by parents. Many teams are run out of private homes. There is no central sign up. The first step is to begin talking to parents and teachers in the community. In order for your child to participate, you might need to start a new team. ORTOP offers free training to help you become a successful coach. The Wilsonville High School team 1425 maintains a website and contact form.
Consider any established youth sport. Legions of parents volunteer to run programs to introduce kids to the games in some cases as early as kindergarten. Parents might enroll their children in a variety of sports so each child can determine their own favorite. By the end of high school, a student has a sufficient depth and scope of defining experience to make an informed decision about what sport, if any, to pursue as an adult. In an era increasingly driven by technology, what similar defining experiences do we provide the next generation to make informed science and technology career decisions? FIRST offers age-appropriate robotics leagues internationally to provide one answer to that question.
Programs like FIRST are perhaps the future of education. But today these programs are run by volunteers and funded by contributions. Looking at the expenses, the major portion of the costs are the robots themselves. But the major value of the programs is in the experiences: computer programming, mechanical design and construction, electronic design and building, all in a team environment with an emphasis on innovation, critical thinking and gracious professionalism. FIRST robotics provides students the necessary experience to make informed decisions about science and technology careers.