Building Engineers by Letting Kids Build Robots

Posted on February 8, 2009  Comments (5)

Building engineers

This year Google has enthusiastically supported my initiative to bring a local group of girls closer to technology through the FIRST Robotics Competition.

“People claim that only with the perspective of years can you know how much influence a particular event has had on you,” Tal Tzangen says and proceeds to explain how she is convinced her participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition last year has significantly changed the course of her life. Tal, a 17 year old girl from a rural part of Israel, was taking technology courses at her school, not because she was particularly interested in technology but because the other options seemed even less appealing to her. Although Israel is also known as “Silicon Wadi,” Tal thought technology was “just for geeks.” Last year she agreed to be a member of a newly forming FIRST team, not knowing what she was letting herself in for.

The competition involves 1,686 teams from more than 42,000 high schools spanning the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Turkey, and the U.K. Each team has six weeks to build a robot from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST. Then, they compete with other robots in a new game devised each year.

She has enlisted some pre-high school girls with the hope of serving as a role model to them. Likewise, she has encouraged the forming of a FIRST LEGO team (9-14 year olds) to ensure the “next generation” for the Robotics Competition.

Related: Lunacy – FIRST Robotics Challenge 2009National Underwater Robotics ChallengeBuilding minds by building robotsLEGO Sumo Robotic Championship

5 Responses to “Building Engineers by Letting Kids Build Robots”

  1. Rich Hoeg
    February 8th, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

    First Robotics is great, but too expensive for many schools. This is one of the reason I coached a First Lego League team for the past six years. First Lego League teaches many of the same concepts for a fraction of the price. Here in Minnesota, First Lego even continues on into high school. All of my kids are now college freshmen engineering students! Take a look …

  2. emily
    February 8th, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

    Yes,we surely encourage teenagers to take part in science discovery the earlier the better.Not long ago, an Indian nine years old girl pass the microsoft MCCSE certification.His parents support her to climb up more submits and refresh the science records.So we should provide our teenagers to love in science and develop their intelligents

  3. Michael
    February 10th, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

    I have been watching the schools here in Texas cut out program after program as our 11 year old proceeds through her school career. I realize there are more places for the money to go than we have money but it is still an unacceptable situation. There has been some help with Nasa and some corporate sponsorship offering activities for middle school through high school aged children as well as conferences for science teachers. I do not understand the requirements that are being set by our federal government while they take away the money that our schools need to accomplish these tasks.

  4. Anonymous
    February 11th, 2009 @ 3:56 am

    last here i have been attending robotics fair in London UK, i was quiet surpirsed to see japanese pet robots. robots technologies are improving rapidly , that day isnt so far when we’ll see IRobot’s Robot in real life .

  5. Anonymous
    April 16th, 2009 @ 3:41 am

    First Robotics is great, but too expensive for many schools.

Leave a Reply