A wonderful letter from Donald H. Bowers, FIRST Regional Director, appeared in the Saturday, May 28, 2011 Home New Tribune.
Robotics teams winning recognition
I want to thank the Courier News, Home News Tribune and Joshua Burd for the recent coverage of our FIRST Robotics programming to include the article about the CNN special “Don’t Fail Me” that featured Shaan Patel and the Montgomery High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team.There are over 20 FRC teams active in Central New Jersey high schools. FIRST uses robotics to teach today’s youth valuable life skills and life lessons taught by teacher-coaches and volunteer mentors who are business professionals. FIRST teams are all about innovation and entrepreneurship. Our programs include FRC and FIRST Tech Challenge for ages 14-18, FIRST LEGO League for ages 9-14, and Junior FIRST LEGO League for ages 6-9. For more go to www.usfirst.org.
FIRST is really not about winning and losing, it is about learning. This past FRC season saw a few Central Jersey FRC teams do very well in competition. They competed at 10 regional competitions in eight Mid-Atlantic states. All teams are winners in the eyes of FIRST, and a few did exceptionally well.
The Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School team was a member of the winning three-team alliance at both the New Jersey and Philadelphia FRC regionals. North Brunswick High School was a member of the winning alliance at the Virginia FRC regional, while St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen won the Long Island FRC event. Finally, the FRC team from West Windsor-Plainsboro North and South high schools was a member of the winning alliance at the Hartford, Conn. regional.
Additionally several Central N.J. FRC teams also won awards for robot or website design, for business and marketing plans, for engineering excellence, creativity and exemplary sportsmanship. The “rookie” teams from Hunterdon Central Regional, JFK Memorial in Iselin, and South Hunterdon Regional all won coveted rookie awards.
On behalf of all our FRC, FTC and FLL teams I want to thank. our program, event and team sponsors — especially Johnson & Johnson, PSE&G and sanofi-aventis U.S. for being our New Jersey Presenting Sponsors for FRC, FTC and FLL respectively.
As a volunteer-driven nonprofit FIRST works to inspire today’s youth to study STEM subjects — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — while in grades K-12, and then to pursue technical degrees and careers in an effort to help keep the U.S. competitive in today’s global workforce and marketplace.
Donald H. Bowers
FIRST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
DE-NJ-EASTERN PA, BRANCHBURG