Olathe Northwest’s First Robotics Team 1710 spends countless hours creating a robot to compete in “First Power-Up” a retro-video game style competition put on by the corporation, First Robotics. While many people hear “robotics” and only think about machines, Team 1710 uses this as a way to dig deeper into what First Robotics means. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology strives to inspire students to be leaders and innovators in science and technology fields. Students that go through this program will grow self-confidence and communication and leadership skills.
Forty-nine eCommunication and Engineering Academy students work closely with mentors to not only build a robot but also grow as students. Not all students are on the build team. Subgroups that students participate in include finance, writing, graphic design, animation, and so much more. One subgroup, Outreach, works closely with the community to bring First ideals to students and schools who don’t have them. A program, You Go Girl, bring STEM related activities to girls in the middle school. Media team works to capture this and what First means to people on the team and put it into a video. Presenters, essays, and this video help teams win the Chairman’s Award.
To go to Internationals, this year in Huston, Texas, a team must either win the Chairman’s Award in the regional they compete in or be on the Alliance, made up of three teams, that wins the entire competition. It is very rare for a team to qualify for Internationals by winning both; however, Team 1710 did! Internationals happen in middle April and everyone at Northwest is cheering for them.