On April 30, 10,000 students gathered at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the 19th annual FIRST Championship. Every year FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosts a robotics competition for high school students to build and operate robots. The students are given kits containing hundreds of parts and six weeks to build a robot that could compete in a soccer-like game called “Breakaway” where the robots had to climb over obstacles and score goals on the other teams. This year’s winning team was composed of three teams from across the country, “Beach Cities Robotics” from Redondo Beach, CA, “The HOT Team” from Milford, MI, and “Bobcat Robotics” from South Windsor, CT. You can see a full list of the winners here.
This year’s kits were full of supplies donated by companies eager to help young people get mor involved and more interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education and careers. One such company is igus® who has created the Y.E.S. program for students in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Igus’ Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) supplied Energy Chain cable carriers, igus® plastic bearings, igubal® spherical bearings, and DryLin® linear bearings to the FIRST robotics kits.
Y.E.S.’s mission is to provide donations to students who show a passion for engineering and they continue to donate through competitions such as Botball, and Best Robotics.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.