March 14, 2014
Texas Tech University’s For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition Team 1817 recently won the Hub City Regional.
The competition challenged 42 teams to design, fabricate and program a robot to perform all the tasks of this year’s game, “Aerial Assist.” Team 1817 was honored with the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors and the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters laboratories.
The team includes students from ten local high schools and middle schools and is mentored by the Llano Estacado RoboRaiders. The RoboRaider mentors are Texas Tech graduate and undergraduate students who help develop leadership and teaming skills throughout the year.
FIRST is an international robotics program that strives to promote science technology engineering mathematics (STEM) awareness among young students and the community. Its mission is to show students that technology, science and problem-solving is not only fun and rewarding, but paths to successful careers and bright futures.
Team leader George Tan, a Texas Tech student majoring in electrical engineering and mathematics from Lubbock, was recognized as an outstanding mentor with the Woody Flowers Finalist Award. The award is given to an individual who has motivated and challenged students to be clear and succinct in recognizing the value of communication.
“Last year we were last place at the Hub City Regional and this year we were first seed team and the regional winner,” Tan said. “Building a robot in six weeks is a very difficult task, but all the countless hours the mentors and students spent working is what made us successful this year.”
The team qualified to compete at the national level competition in St. Louis, Mo., on April 24-26.
Texas - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) is a major component of a Texas initiative to motivate and prepare more students for careers in STEM fields.
The mission of the Texas Tech T-STEM Center is to support educators in STEM disciplines by offering services and resources that support school districts and to teachers.
The center, created in 2006, has nearly $2.2 million in funding.