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FACTBOOK February 2016


About GeorgiaFIRST Vision Our vision is to see kids excited about science and technology, have them attend one of our prestigious institutes of higher learning, and upon graduation, stay in Georgia for their careers. By doing this, we can ‘put Georgia first.’ Our best resource, our youth, contribute to the growth and sustainability of our innovative workforce. Mission Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including selfconfidence, communication, and leadership. GeorgiaFIRST Robotics, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 organization. EIN: 46-0532411

The publication is produced by Kell Robotics and The STEM Leadership Foundation. Copyright, 2016 STEM Leadership Foundation, Inc.

Table of Contents

FIRST Programs FIRST Robotics Competition FIRST as a CTSO FIRST Partnerships FIRST Comparisons FIRST Competition Support FIRST Sports Analogy


FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity inspires young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. FIRST provides a progression of four global, after-school programs for K-12: the FIRST ® Robotics Competition for Grades 9-12 (ages 14 to 18); the FIRST ® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12 (ages 12 to 18); the FIRST ® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8 (ages 9 to 16; ages vary by country); and the FIRST ® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3 (ages 6 to 9). FIRST also operates a research, development, and training facility called FIRST ® Place™ at its headquarters in New Hampshire.

GeorgiaFIRST Robotics GeorgiaFIRST Robotics is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity that organized and manages FIRST ® Robotics Competition, FIRST ® Tech Challenge, and FIRST ® LEGO® League Jr for the State of Georgia. GeorgiaFIRST has one employee and hundreds of volunteers from industry and the community.

The FIRST ® Robotics Competition for Grades 9-12 (ages 14 to 18) is an annual competition that helps young people discover the rewards and excitement of education and careers in science, engineering, and technology. The program challenges high-school-aged students – working with professional Mentors – to design and build a robot, and compete in highintensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students

The FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12 is a challenging robotics competition designed for young people who want a hands-on learning experience to develop and hone their skills and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program was designed for teams who want hands-on experience building with a reusable kit and competing head to head against other teams in a sports-like atmosphere. FIRST Tech Challenge is also an ideal next step for students moving from FIRST ® LEGO® League or prior to participating in the FIRST® Robotics Competition.

CEISMC The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) (pronounced like "seismic") is a partnership uniting the Georgia Institute of Technology with educational groups, schools, corporations, and opinion leaders throughout the state of Georgia. The CEISMC team manages and coordinates the FIRST ® LEGO® League competitions and activities for the State of Georgia. This is supported by hundreds of volunteers across Georgia.

It’s a FACT! FIRST LEGO League is one of the most powerful tools available to engage young students, especially girls into STEM careers. It is our experience that FLL creates a solid reliable stream of candidates that pursue STEM careers. [kellrobotics] Furthermore, it is critical to maintain a FIRST pathway through to high school graduation.

FIRST ® LEGO ® League for Grades 4-8 (ages 9 to 16; ages vary by country) introduces children to the fun and experience of solving real-world problems by applying math, science, and technology. FIRST LEGO League is an international program for children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO® Group in 1998. Each year, the program announces an annual Challenge to teams, which engages them in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design using LEGO MINDSTORMS ® technologies.

FIRST ® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3 (ages 6 to 9) is designed to introduce younger children to the fun and excitement of solving problems with science and technology. FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams are given a Challenge based on the same theme as the FIRST® LEGO® League research Project, requiring them to build models and create a Show Me poster depicting their research journey.

FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION FIRST isn’t about robots FIRST is about inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. It is about changing the culture. It is about creating and growing a culture that supports a student’s development into becoming a productive member of society. Changing the culture, changing the public perception of the value of engineering and STEM learning is part of the job. Starting and growing FIRST though new team startup, training, educational and business partnerships are integral to the development of a FIRST team. Accomplishing this is no small task. It requires business planning and execution. It requires building a network of educational and business partnerships. It requires excellence in communications. Explaining the value of FIRST requires developing personal skills, soft skills, and the ability to communicate across a range of environments. Communicating the value of engineering in the Designed World is critical to advancing the public understanding of the need for Technological Literacy. Working to grow FIRST, and helping other teams succeed requires hard work and a commitment to ethics. Teams are expected to compete fiercely, yet graciously and professionally, without negative behaviors. Teams can help one another by leading and developing symposiums, workshops, conferences. They can assist one another as a group and one on one through mentoring. The teams, individuals, and mentors that exhibit excellence and outstanding leadership are recognized by the Chairman’s, Dean’s List, and Woodie Flowers Awards.

FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect - of the program nor of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future". Dean Kamen

FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION LEADERSHIP AND OTHER AWARDS The FIRST Chairman’s Award is presented to the team that is judged to be an exemplary role model working to support the FIRST Core Values: Growing and Supporting FIRST; Communications-Spreading the Message of FIRST; Helping Others; Team Spirit; Mentoring Other Teams; Team Sustainability; Strength of Educational, Corporate, & University Partnerships; Commitment to and the practice of the Ethics of Gracious Professionalism & Coopertition.

The FIRST Dean’s List Award shall include, but not be limited to a student’s: Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of FIRST; Effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST in the school and community; Interest in and passion for a long-term commitment to FIRST; Overall individual contribution to their team; Technical expertise and passion; Entrepreneurship and creativity; Ability to motivate and lead fellow team members.

The Woodie Flowers Award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. Dr. William Murphy founded this prestigious award in 1996 to recognize mentors who lead, inspire, and empower using excellent communication skills. High school students will describe how this mentor has given them the best understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and satisfaction involved in the discipline of engineering and design.




THE DESIGNED WORLD Engineering Inspiration Award*

ETHICS Gracious Professionalism Award Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

BUSINESS PLANNING & EXECUTION Entrepreneurship Award Sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS Media & Technology Innovation Award Sponsored by Comcast NBC Universal

ROOKIE ONLY AWARDS Rookie All Star Award* Rookie Inspiration Award Sponsored by National Instruments (Rookies are eligible for all awards except Chairman’s)

OTHER AWARDS Team Spirit Award Sponsored by FCA Foundation Judges’ Award Volunteer of the Year Award * Championship Eligible




Gracious Professionalism is part of


the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of


doing things that encourages high-

Highest Rookie Seed

quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfort-

ROBOT TECHNICAL & ARTISTIC DESIGN Industrial Design Award Sponsored by General Motors Innovation in Control Award Sponsored by Rockwell Automation Quality Award Sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation Excellence in Engineering Sponsored by Delphi Creativity Award Sponsored by Xerox Imagery Award In honor of Jack Kamen

ably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.

ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, SAFETY Industrial Safety Award Sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories Safety Animation Award Sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories

GRAND ENGINEERING CHALLENGES FIRST Future Innovator Award Sponsored by the Abbott Fund" * Championship Eligible

FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION ENGINEERING, SAFETY, & COMPETITION AWARDS ROBOT COMPETITION Students have 45 days from learning what the engineering challenge is to deliver a finished robot. During this period the team goes through an iterative design and build process. Teams produce a robot that weighs up to 120 lbs, 150 lbs with battery and bumpers. There no kit of parts in the traditional sense. And no real instruction manual. Teams compete over a two month period in 3 on three alliances. Each competition produces three winners, three runner-ups, and recognized the rookie top performing robot team.

ROBOT TECHNICAL & ARTISTIC DESIGN The students in the FIRST Robotics Competition receive at no cost professional versions of software for CAD (Computer Aided Design), Software Development, Data Analytics, Configuration Mangement, and Vision Processing. Students can choose to use these free professional tools to design their robot if they so desire. Judges evaluate the teams engineering design process and the teams implementation the robot. The judges give consideration to the machine design, creativity, control systems, quality, and artistry.

ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH, SAFETY The Industrial Safety Award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards. The Safety Animation Award recognizes the team that submits an animated short video that best promotes the current season’s team safety focus.


The FIRST Future Innovator Award (FFIA) recognizes creativity in effectively solving a real -world, complex problem through the invention of a unique solution beyond the requirements of the FIRST competition season.


FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST LEGO League Jr. collectively is the largest engineering design competition system on the planet with over 400,000 participants. Unfortunately, the growth of the largest and fastest growing programs in STEM learning is hampered by the of teacher incentives. Many school districts have not yet recognized the role of FIRST programs and the need for teacher support. School districts that know the value of FIRST is studying systems to extend teacher pay through extended day pay, or stipends. School districts want to implement robotics as a way to ignite the interest of high school students in STEM studies but are struggling to resolve teacher support issues. In June 2016, the State of Georgia achieved a first in FIRST, supporting FIRST Robotics Competition teams as a state recognized CTSO. Given that teachers can easily spend as much 500 to 1,000 hours a year supporting a team, this is a great first step in sending a strong message that supporting teachers is an important task.

CTSO HISTORICAL OVERVIEW CTSO or Career and Technical and Student Organizations trace its history to the trade guilds and apprenticeship societies common in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1917 the Federal government provided legislation fund the creation and support of CTSO organizations. Since the inception, multiple pieces of federal law has been passed to provide funding support, most recently Perkins Acts. State governments also provide funding to supplant federal funding sources. Through the 20th century, vocational education and student organizations evolved into the current career and technical education known as CTSOs. The modern 21st Century educational system should not divide along occupational and academic tracks. The current workforce demands a much richer blend of academic and highly technically trained workers. The world is changing.

CTSO FRAMEWORK The National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) is a coalition of national career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) serving career and technical education students and teachers in one or more of the 16 Career ClustersÂŽ identified in The National Career ClustersÂŽ Framework. Nationally there are 10 Federally recognized CTSO organizations. Currently, in the state of Georgia, there are seven nationally recognized Career and Technical Student Organizations: DECA, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), FFA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), HOSA - Future Health Professionals, SkillsUSA and Technology Student Association (TSA). Georgia is host to Career and Technical Instruction (CTI), a Georgia only CTSO designed specifically for students with disabilities. Georgia is also host to the newly created Georgia only CTSO designed for FIRST Robotics Competition.

Requirement of Compliance as a CTSO Federal Perkins Act details 9 required and 17 permissible uses of leadership funds in a CTSO. While the GeorgiaFIRST as a CTSO is not funded with Federal funding sources, the activities of GeorgiaFIRST as a CTSO comply with many of these required and permissible use areas.

CTSO Key Required & Permissible Activities •

Teacher Professional Development

Student Leadership Development

Strengthen the skills of students through hands-on, contextual learning experiences, providing “real world” value.

Creating partnerships with schools, universities, industry, and parents

Relevance to an industry

Career guidance and counseling programs

CTSO activity funding support

Support for co-curricular education

Exceeding the Boundary of a Tradition CTSO Training is different from Education Training is learning how to use a tool, such as hand tools, a software or hardware design tool. Education is learning how to use and integrate learned knowledge, curiosity, and other skill sets to creatively and ethically solve tough problems. The greatest potential of FIRST is the ability to nurture a new generation of


FIRST uniquely respects and meets the goals of a CSTO, while encouraging innovation and creativity.

Reference: (youtube video): ”Dr. Woodie Flowers: What is the Future of Education?”

FIRST aligns with CTSO goals “FIRST is a unique program that brings together five constituencies: • the business community, • professional engineers, • high school administrators and teachers, • universities, • and the high school students. You’ve got all five constituencies, working together for the same common goal, and it’s very special.” J.T. Battenberg,CEO and President of Delphi Automotive Systems,


Johnson Research & Development


mentor Pronunciation: /ˈmenˌtôr/ /ˈmenˌtər/ NOUN 1 An experienced and trusted adviser: 1.1 An experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students. VERB [WITH OBJECT] Advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague).

WHY MENTOR? Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset. []

STEM Mentoring “When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what they may aspire to become – whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm – their goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; their very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, “Yes, someone like me can do this.” US2020]

Young Adults Who Were At-Risk for Falling Off Track But Had a Mentor Are: • • • •

55% more likely to enroll in college 78% more likely to volunteer regularly 90% are interested in becoming a mentor 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.


Much More than Mentoring Being involved as a mentor is being part of a Community of Practice( COP). It is part of a Master / Apprentice system. Communities of Practice & Master / Apprentice systems of learning have existed for thousands of years and are an important part of how people develop skills for lifelong learning and career development. Mentoring in this community develops and enriches the skills of the mentors, and mentees.




Heart of Georgia College & Career Academy Thinc Academy Houston County Career Academy

Whitfield County Career Academy

Georgia Power supports FIRST with their custom built portable machine shop. This unit was originally built to support robotics competitions in Georgia. The units travels over the state to support Georgia’s workforce development efforts.

IMPACT - FIRST Programs The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University Since 2002, the Center has served as the evaluation partner with FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a national organization that promotes involvement in STEM through after school robotics competitions. FIRST programs involve teams of students and mentors from the corporate and university community who design and build robots to accomplish a predefined set of tasks. Teams then compete in regional and national events. Over the past 11 years, the Center has conducted annual studies to evaluate the implementation and impacts of FIRST’s robotics programs while working with FIRST staff to develop the organization’s data collection and evaluation capacity. FIRST evaluations examine a wide variety of education, career and life skills outcomes, including attitudes towards science and technology, educational aspirations and progress, and the development of 21st Century life and workplace skills (planning, problem-solving, communications, teamwork, etc.). The Center is currently conducting a 5-year longitudinal impact study tracking approximately 1,000 FIRST participants and comparison students to assess the program’s longer term impacts on student involvement in STEM education and careers.




as likely to major in science or engineering

major in engineering


of women major in engineering




Improved problem solving skills


increased time management skills


Increased conflict resolution skills

strengthened communication skills

SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT BYFIRST PARTICIPANTS More interested in doing well in school




FIRST Tech Challenge


Plan to take a more challenging math or science course


FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Tech Challenge

More interested in going to college




FIRST Tech Challenge



FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Robotics Competition


89% of Alumni are in a STEM field as a student of professional Source: Brandeis University 2011 FIRST Tech Challenge—FIRST Robotics Competition Evaluation; 2013 FIRST Tech LEGO League Evaluation


High School Varsity

FRC FIRST is the only system that is

High School and Middle School

Middle School and Elementary School


Aligned from K through 12

FTC FIRST is the only system that has a professional grade varsity system with design and manufacturing skills that flow straight into industry.




MOWR Move On When Ready

Georgia College & Career


FIRST in Georgia Nearly 1,000 FIRST Teams in Georgia 2017




FIRST Robotics Competition Teams - High School 5 Competition Events 1 State Championship



FIRST Tech Challenge - High School & Middle School 7 Competition Events 1 State Championship

700 105

628 50+

FIRST LEGO League Teams - Elementary & Middle School Jr. FIRST LEGO League Teams - Early Elementary School 24 Regional Competition Events 8 Super-Regional Competition Events 2 State Championships

International Reach Overall Reach of FIRST - All Programs Combined—2015/16 season 460,000+ students 52,000+ teams 40,000+ robots 120,000+ Mentor roles filled

FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION USG / TCSG / CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP SUPPORT To remain STEM competitive nationally and internationally, we need to consolidate and strengthen our gains and work to establish a national leadership position. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) system in Georgia has grown to the degree that the Georgia system has switched to a model of competition support that will implement several ‘District Competition’ events plus a state Championship. In 2016, USG & TCSG units supported 100% of these competition events in a new model that is internationally distinctive. The statewide council of Engineering Deans representing the USG and Mercer Colleges of Engineering has agreed that FIRST is the preferred system of choice that they will all work to support and advance.

2016 FIRST Robotics Competition season facts: Internationally: 72,500 high school students on 2,900 teams from 19 countries; eligible for over $22 million in college scholarships. 48 District Events; 5 State/District Championships, 56 Regional Events; FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in St. Louis Noteworthy in Georgia: 100 % of the Georgia competition system partnered with USG and TCSG institutions. This is unique across the entire FIRST system. Georgia Events for 2016: Albany, Columbus, Dalton, Kennesaw, and Athens were the competition sites. Georgia Tech is the season kickoff site. There were 4 state events leading to the state championship event at UGA. Future events will include Georgia Southern University and Mercer University. Our near term challenge is to add 100 more teams to Georgia’s existing nearly 70 teams that consist of an estimated 2,000 students.

2016 FIRST Robotics Competition USG & TCSG SUPPORT FIRST Robotics Competition Host

District Championship Competition

District Competition Event

kellrobotIcs District Competition Event


Convention Center

District Competition Event TitanAlliance

District Event Competition

New for 2017

Future District Competition Event

Future District Competition Event




A STEM Hub support model has evolved at Kennesaw State University through a partnership with Novelis, and Kell Robotics, of Kennesaw Georgia. Starting in Academic Year (AY) 2015-2016 this support center started a manufacturing support effort that supports high school FIRST Robotics teams. The project is building on earlier success in supporting mentor and teacher conferences, workshops, and other activities. Other successes are the creation of an Innovation Center at Albany Technical College. This model follows the example of the Kell Robotics Center. Georgia Tech is the kickoff host of the high school varsity level FIRST Robotics Competition. Kennesaw State University is the kickoff location for FIRST Tech Challenge, a junior varsity level robotics competition. Starting in 2016 the University of Georgia is the host for the FIRST Robotics Competition state championship, held at the Stegeman Coliseum. Northwest Georgia is part of the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership� (IMCP). While this effort is not an official IMCP partner, this development is a fascinating case. Georgia Northwest Technical College and the Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy are going through the process of implementing and support FIRST teams in Dalton and Rome Georgia. Another success is the implementation of FIRST at the Heart of Georgia Career Academy. We are also moving forward with initiatives with Thinc Academy in LaGrange, GA. While not a state university, Mercer University has worked for several years to support FIRST teams in middle Georgia. Other participants in this system include Georgia Southern University, Columbus State University, Columbus Technical College, and Dalton State University.


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