Hart High School’s robotics team is one of 900 high school teams sponsored by retailer JCPenney in the 2012 FIRST Regional Competition (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) set for March 15-17 in Long Beach.
Hart’s FIRST Team #3993, the Hart Super Heroes, is a rookie team that will spend six intense weeks designing and building an original robot.
FIRST is a not-for-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by engaging students in innovative robotics competitions.
“Having our students involved in FIRST is not just about increasing educational opportunities in science and technology, it’s also about instilling well-rounded life capabilities such as self-confidence, communication and leadership,” said Michelle Hughes, a teacher at Hart High. “JCPenney’s sponsorship represents a commitment to building the future leaders of tomorrow by making youth participation in FIRST possible.”
JCPenney’s sponsorship of 900 FIRST teams this season reinforces the company’s philanthropic goal to introduce FIRST to more schools and communities throughout the U.S. and encourage greater participation among minority and female students. The retailer’s legacy of working with national youth organizations through its signature charity, JCPenney afterschool, helps make it possible for more students to become involved in life-enriching learning opportunities during the after school hours.
Schools, communities and government acknowledge the need to improve the country’s global economic competitiveness by increasing aptitudes in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among America’s youth.
Studies show that FIRST students are three times more likely to major in engineering in college, 10 times as likely to have an apprenticeship their freshman year, more than twice as likely to pursue a science or technology career, and nearly four times as likely to pursue a career in engineering.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League for 9-to 14-year-olds (9-to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6-to 9-year-olds.
The program incorporates Gracious Professionalism™ as a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others and respects individuals and the community.