The FIRST competition, designed to get high school students interested in science and technology, continues to expand. Founded in 1992, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology gives students six weeks to design, build, program and test robots that match up in regional contests and culminate with an international championship meet in Atlanta, GA, April 16-18. More than 42,000 students from 10 countries received parts' kits with 604 items. This year, that includes MPC5200 Power microprocessors from Freescale Semiconductor. The contest rewards both good designs and collaboration. The latter includes working with competing teams, as well as with team members.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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.