FIRST Robotics – 25 years of teamworkOn October 18, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Right now as we sit here there’s still a
shortage in this country of millions of technically competent people. 30 years
ago I said if I steal from the quote playbook of sports and redirect it make
it accessible and fun and rewarding we will win, and the American culture will
rise to that occasion. The FIRST program brings out the creativity and it shows
the possibilities what you can achieve with an understanding of science math
and engineering. BAE partnership with FIRST is really about helping youth
believe in themselves and in their skills. BAE Systems has had a great
partnership with the FIRST program for over 25 years.
FIRST is the best way for students to gain real-world skills and knowledge.
It teaches teamwork, it teaches discipline, it teaches responsibility it
teaches leadership. How to take big problems and break them down into
manageable pieces. It’s beyond just engineering, its communications, business
development, finance, work-life balance, valuable networking skills. They have to
learn how to get along how to negotiate how to win graciously and lose
graciously. It’s that feeling of inclusiveness that really propels FIRST
teams forward. There’s really a place for everybody. FIRST is the only sport where
every kid on every team can turn pro. BAE Systems is really proud of its
partnership with FIRST Robotics. We sponsor over 80 teams in eight states.
They were the company that was a backbone a poster child for what a big
company could do but if you asked me what’s the most valuable thing we get
from BAE, its access to their people for those people create the culture they are
the superstars they are the role model they make it all work. It was just as
much fun as a mentor as it was as a student. Investment in STEM programs is
vital to the continued success and sustainment of companies like BAE
Systems. They’re changing the perspective and the career trajectories of a whole
generation of kids. Over 30% of our first year engineering hires have been through
the FIRST program. FIRST has really provided me all the opportunities that
led me to where I am today. The problems and the challenges that we’re gonna see
they’re gonna get harder. The next generation of scientists, engineers,
mathematicians, technologists they need to be even more prepared than what I was.
This year FIRST was being more than 65,000 schools around the world. I
greatly appreciate that for 25 years BAE has been a stalwart supporter of FIRST.
I’m really excited to see where this next generation will bring us.