FACTBOOK Spring 2018
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 â€˜put Georgia first.â€™ 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, 2017, 2018 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 Family of Programs FULLY TRANSITIONED PROGRAMS FROM K - 12
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: •
FIRST® Robotics Competition for Grades 9-12 (ages 14 to 18)
FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12 (ages 12 to 18)
FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8 (ages 9 to 16; ages vary by country)
FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3 (ages 6 to 9).
GeorgiaFIRST Robotics GeorgiaFIRST Robotics is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity responsible for the execution of FIRST® Robotics Competition and FIRST® Tech Challenge. GeorgiaFIRST works in partnership with CEISMC at Georgia Tech to deliver the FIRST® LEGO® League Jr and FIRST ® LEGO® League programs This volunteer run organization depends upon the 1 million+ hours given by our volunteers to deliver the quality programs we expect from FIRST in the State of Georgia.
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 Jr. and 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. 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 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
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots, 120-pound robots to play a difficult field game that changes each season. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship, where teams from around the globe compete fiercely, but with gracious professionalism.
Outside of the competition season, FRC teams work to spread STEM awareness and opportunities through community outreach with activities such as leading symposiums, hosting programming workshops, mentoring rookie teams, and building networks of educational and business partnerships. By creating a sustainable, practical environment for students to safely develop technological literacy, communication and life skills in a challenging “small-business” like setting, we are helping to create the next wave of work-ready employees, productive citizens and STEM and business leaders.
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 HIGHEST TEAM AWARD Chairman’s Award*
THE HIGHEST STUDENT AWARD FIRST Dean’s List Award*
THE HIGHEST MENTOR AWARD Woodie Flowers Award*
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
FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION GRACIOUS PROFESSIONALISM Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages highquality work, emphasizes the value
ROBOT COMPETITION Winner* Finalist Highest Rookie Seed
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 comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Profes-
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 Digital Animation Award Sponsored by Automation Direct
sionalism 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 engineering design and build process, producing 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 Management, 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 and the teams implementation of 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 seasonâ€™s team safety focus.
GRAND ENGINEERING CHALLENGES
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.
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,
FIRST as a CTSO CAREER AND TECHNICAL STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
The collective progression of programs within FIRST now has the designation as being the largest K-12, after-school STEM organization internationally, with over 515,000 youth participants.. Evidence that FIRST WORKS! With this growth comes the issue of creating champions with a passion for STEM and engaging youth. Enter Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO).
CTSO OVERVIEW Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) enhance student learning through contextual instruction, leadership and personal development, applied learning and real world application. CTSOs work as an integral component of the classroom curriculum and instruction, building upon employability and career skills and concepts through the application and engagement of students in hands-on demonstrations and real life and/or work experiences through a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTSOâ€™s help guide students in developing a career path, a program of study and provide opportunities in gaining the skills and abilities needed to be successful in those careers through CTSO activities, programs and competitive events. In addition, students have opportunities to hold leadership positions at the local, state, and national level and attend leadership development conferences to network with other students as well as business and industry partners.
CTSO and GeorgiaFIRST As the newest CTSO in the state, GeorgiaFIRST now partners with a network of career technical organizations recognized nationally. School districts implement robotics as a way to ignite the interest of high school students in the areas of STEM and leadership. At the FRC level, teachers can choose FIRST as an engineering pathway in Georgia. This is a great first step in sending a strong message that supporting teachers is an important task.
GeorgiaFIRST PARTNERSHIPS A SAMPLE OF PARTNERS/SPONSORS IN GEORGIA
Johnson Research & Development
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.
2018 FIRST Robotics Competition season facts: Internationally: 91,000 high school students on 23,650 teams from 19 countries; eligible for over $50 million in college scholarships. Noteworthy in Georgia: 100 % of the Georgia competition system partnered with USG and TCSG institutions. This is unique across the entire FIRST system.
Georgia FRC Events for 2018: Albany, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Duluth, and Athens are the competition sites. Georgia Tech is the season kickoff site. The 5 state events for FRC lead to the state championship event at The University of Georgia. Our near term challenge is to add 100 more teams to Georgia’s 82 teams that consist of an estimated 2,500 students.
FIRST HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERS UNIVERSITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE A Partial Brief Of History of Georgia Education 1866 - Legislation enacted on December 12, 1866, provided for a system of common schools. The legislature did not put the law into effect until January 1, 1868. 1868 - The new state constitution called for "a thorough system of general education, to be forever free to All children of the State," to be funded through poll, carnival, and liquor taxes. 1872 - Education finally started to take shape under the leadership of Gustavus J. Orr, state school commissioner. Race segregated all schools, and many could afford to operate for only three or four months at a time. 1911 - Georgia added high schools to the education system. Some schools only went to grade 9. Other schools went up to grade 11. Teacher qualification standards were added, requiring teachers to be educated through at least two years of high school, and two years college. 1917 - The Federal government passed the Smith-Hughes Act. This act is the cornerstone of vocational education programs that evolved into the CTAE (Career Technology Agriculture Engineering) and CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organizations) programs of today. 1920 - School buses were introduced. Busses were locally built. The driver could even build their own bus. 1947 - Requirements were changed to add the 12th grade; it was 1952 before all schools met this requirement. 1948 - Bond issues like those passed in the City of Atlanta provided money for additions such as auditoriums/cafeterias, kitchen facilities, bathrooms, and classrooms to meet rising needs. 1949 - Laws requiring a uniform nine-month school term passed the state legislature. 1951 - A 3 percent sales tax was passed by the Georgia General Assembly to help support schools. This new legislation increased teachersâ€™ salaries; and funded the 12th grade, 1954 - The Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education, decreed that separate was not equal and ordered the desegregation of the nationâ€™s public school systems. 1983 - A Nation at Risk report was published by President Ronald Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education. Its publication is considered a landmark event in American educational history.
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. [mentoring.org]
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.
Georgia Power supports GeorgiaFIRST with their custom built start of the art machine shop. This unit was built to support robotics teams at competitions throughout the state. In addition, this unit travels all over the state to support Georgiaâ€™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.
STEM MAJOR CITED BY FIRST PARTICIPANTS
as likely to major in science or engineering
major in engineering
of women major in engineering
21ST CENTURY WORK-LIFE SKILLS GAINED BYFIRST PARTICIPANTS
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 LEGO League
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 LEGO League
FIRST Tech Challenge
FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST ALUMNI IN STEM CAREERS
89% of Alumni are in a STEM field as a student or professional Source: Brandeis University 2011 FIRST Tech Challenge—FIRST Robotics Competition Evaluation; 2013 FIRST Tech LEGO League Evaluation
FIRST AT A GLANCE
Global Reach* • 515,000+ students • 59,000 teams • 44,700+ robots created • 150,000+ mentor/coach/adult supporter roles filled • 105,000+ other volunteer roles filled (e.g. event volunteers, affiliate partners, VISTAs) *Projections for the 2017-2018 season 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition • 3,650 teams • 91,000+ participants (Ages 14-18; Grades 9-12) 2017-2018 FIRST Tech Challenge • 5,900 teams • 59,000 participants (Ages 12-18; Grades 7-12) 2017-2018 FIRST LEGO League • 35,200 teams • 280,000+ participants (Ages 9-16*; Grades 4-8) • Representing nearly 90 countries*Ages vary by country 2017-2018 FIRST LEGO League Jr. • 14,000+ teams • 86,000 participants (Grades K-4) 2018 FIRST Scholarship Program • $50 million in college scholarships • 2,000 individual scholarship opportunities • Nearly 200 scholarship providers 2018 FIRST Volunteers & Sponsors • 255,000 volunteer roles filled • FIRST sponsors include more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies updated January 2018
PROGRESSION OF ROBOTICS PROGRAMS
FIRST in Georgia Over 1,000 FIRST Teams in Georgia 2018 82
FIRST Robotics Competition Teams 5 Competition Events 1 State Championship
FIRST Tech Challenge 39 Competition Events 1 State Championship 1 Regional U.S. Championship
FIRST LEGO League Teams Jr. FIRST LEGO League Teams 28 Regional Competition Events 7 Super-Regional Competition Events 2 State Championships
GeorgiaFIRST Robotics Development & Enrichment Center GeorgiaFIRST Robotics Development & Enrichment Center, or DE is one of Georgia’s unique programs which is all about helping teams on their journey to the Einstein (Championship) Field. The program features four FRC playing fields throughout the state with complete sets of field elements; these fields are available to for all teams to use. GeorgiaFIRST, Kimberly Clark, and Walton Robotics Team FRC 2974 created the program in 2012, and it was so successful that it expanded to four facilities by 2017. Teams from all over Georgia are invited to test their robots on FRC competition fields, provide and receive technical training in conjunction with other teams, and network with other students and coaches in the FIRST community!
Hosted by 100 Scholars Robotics, Fernbank LINKS, Global Dynamics, and DeKalb International School
Site Sponsored by Johnson Research & Development
Can accommodate up to 23 teams!
Hosted by Walton Robotics Team 2974
Site Sponsored by Walton High School
Full-size field (3 driver’s stations active)
Can accommodate up to 10 teams!
Hosted by FRC Teams 4941, 5582, 4622, 3581, 4188
Site Sponsored by Muscogee County School Board
Can accommodate up to 15 teams!
Hosted by Titan Alliance Team 5536 & Monroe HS Team 4730
Site Sponsored by Albany Tech
Can accommodate up to 10 teams!
are Key to Success - An Example
In 2016 Kell Robotics led the development and implementation of an informal public/private partnership that will support high school students in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The KSU College of Engineering supports these students by providing part manufacturing services on a newly installed waterjet cutting system. Novelis is the worldâ€™s largest producer of rolled aluminum sheet, with global headquarters in Atlanta, and a Research and Technology Center in Kennesaw Georgia. Novelis provides resources to support KSU college students, and FIRST high school students for product design and development. This program also provides resources needed to support teacher professional development initiatives and community engagement initiatives such as Girl Scout STEM making, inventing,and engineering programs. This effort is an example of how public/private partnerships accelerate the growth and development of our workforce development efforts and the development of the STEM support eco-system.
During the design and build season for FRC and FTC, volunteers at KSU use the material donated by Novelis to manufacture team designed parts. To date, over two dozen teams have had parts made at KSU. Parts are also made a the Georgia Tech Invention Studio, using Novelis donated material.
FIRST - SPORTS ANALOGY EVOLUTION OF FOOTBALL
EVOLUTION OF FIRST
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE USG & TCSG SUPPORT FOR FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION
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 â€œInvesting in Manufacturing Communities Partnershipâ€? (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.