Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27/13: FIRST Ring It Up FTC Qualifier in North Andover

My company PTC sponsors the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge to inspire the Engineers of the Future.  I have been lucky enough to be a judge three years in a row at the competition.  This is a competition for students to build a robot and compete with it in the ring and in many other categories.  The teams can win awards for Innovation of Design, Design aspects, Motivation, Connection with the community, Think - for their Engineering Notebook, and Inspire as a combination award of who placed highly and did well in matches. 
Vision for FIRST: "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." - Dean Kamen, Founder  
Here I am at the Opening Ceremonies speaking on behalf of PTC.
This year's competition was called Ring It Up.  The full game description is here but the highlights are that teams need to put rings on pegs with their robot.  The first 30 seconds is done autonomously and then the last 2 minutes is done by controlling the robots.  There is also extra points for lifting up another robot.
It was so nice to see so many young people with a true excitement for the engineering design process.  It was also wonderful seeing so many women involved.  Being one of 3 women in my Aerospace Engineering classes I knew what it was like being in the minority in an Engineering field.  The skills these students are learning at such a young age are phenomenal.
Here you can see the PTC logo on one of the robots.  I have been with PTC for over 14 years so this is always exciting for me to see our logo proudly displayed. 
I loved seeing the enthusiasm for the game.  Seeing the teams with matching team shirts and hearing shouts from the crowd for their school's team was so fun. 
Here is an example of game play.

An attempt at trying to lift one of the robots for extra points. 
  PTC is a Strategic Partner of FIRST and provides donated software and nearly a million dollars of funding in support of the program.  They donate the most advanced CAD (Creo) and Collaboration (Windchill) software to all FTC and FRC teams.  Here is a video that PTC put together around FIRST that I showed during my presentation.

I hope all of the teams had fun today, I know I did.  Get involved if your local school has a FIRST team, or better yet, start one up and join in the fun.


Alison J said...

nice job, Gilda!

Corinne at ClearPoint Web Solutions said...

That looks like so much fun, Gilda! What age is that for? My son Nathan would love that and I would love to see it at the Ditson School, but not sure it's for kids this young (he's in 3rd grade). Thanks for sharing. It's great to know about those options for our young people to learn about science and engineering!

Sheila Rogers said...

Thank you so much for volunteering for FIRST! You are always to willing to give back to the community, and you represent PTC in such a great way! Thanks again!!