The FIRST Robotics Competition is a five-week-long challenge for high school students that aims to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders.
Every year, the competition has a theme and a game. The theme for the 2022-2023 competition is ENERGIZE. The game, CHARGED UP—which launched Jan. 7, 2023—encourages competitors to address challenges related to access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. While learning real-world engineering skills, the student competitors will build and program robots.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports STEM education and energy literacy, including ensuring underrepresented and underserved students have equal access to learning and workforce opportunities. DOE aims to support people from all backgrounds and perspectives, including individuals and communities that have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields and activities. to learn about the teams and projects in this year’s competition.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) sponsored the FIRST Chesapeake District competitions in Alexandria, Virginia on March 18–19, 2023. Winners of these competitions will advance to the Chesapeake District Championship on April 6–8, 2023 at George Mason University. Teams competing at regional competitions will also have the chance to advance to the 2023 FIRST World Championships in Houston, Texas on April 19–22, 2023. FIRST Robotics expects there to be approximately 30,000 attendees in Houston, including the top international teams and American teams that have advanced to the World Championships
In 2021, FIRST awarded eight grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to students across the world to help community leaders develop new and innovative ideas to bridge the STEM education gap.
Other FIRST Robotics initiatives to address inequities in STEM include partnerships with youth-serving organizations; providing equity, diversity, and inclusion training and resources for participants; and the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program that served almost 40 underserved communities nationwide.
The event has no cost of entry to attend and is a way to support local STEM and workforce education.
Follow along with us this season.