Inspiring young people in science and technology

It’s time this the people of this country celebrate inventors and engineers over athletes and movie stars.  That is how we will get young people to appreciate math and science more.

In 2012, the United States ranks 30th for math and 23rd for science regarding student performance as compared to other industrialized nations. Dean Kamen of FIRST, For Inspiration & Recognition of Science &Technology, discusses efforts to inspire young people to lead in science & technology.

New England Institute of Technology Receives Financial Assistance Awards from the Providence Engineering Society

Providence Engineering Society logoRobert Theroux, Vice President of Finance and Business Administration at New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), announced that the Providence Engineering Society (PES) will donate two financial assistance awards in the amount of $750 each to the 2013-2014 FIRST®   (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge (FTC) teams competing in Rhode Island.

NEIT has been an affiliate partner of FIRST®  for the last eight years serving as the host site for this Rhode Island high school robotics competition.

The upcoming challenge will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at New England Tech’s Automotive Technology Center, 101 Access Road, Warwick, RI.

The Executive Board of PES has slated these financial assistance awards for two Individual high school robotics teams that consist of a dedicated mentor and students but lack the funds needed to compete in the program. The financial assistance awards are to be used solely for expenses associated with the 2013-2014 FIRST®   Tech Challenge.

Teams interested in applying for a financial assistance award should submit a two page letter that includes the following information:

  • team name
  • town
  • school or community where the team is located
  • mentor name
  • contact information
  • number of students on team
  • description of any past experience of the team
  • how the financial award will be used
  • how the team plans to raise any additional funds
  •  how the team will demonstrate to PES that the award was used effectively

The letter of application should be emailed to Adam Bessette, PES Past President at adambessette520@hotmail.com with a copy sent to Chris Cronin, PES Secretary at ccronin@beta-inc.com.

Submission deadline is Friday, October 4, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.

The Society will review completed submissions and contact the chosen teams by Friday, October 11, 2013. Questions regarding team eligibility or the application process may be directed to Adam Bessette at (401)742-1707or to his email listed above.

As Theroux stated, “We are very grateful to the Providence Engineering Society for its generous donation. The FIRST®   competition brings students together who share a common interest in the STEM disciplines that include science, technology, engineering and math.  We are proud to partner with PES as together we promote the importance of STEM careers to today’s high school students.”

 

About the Providence Engineering Society

The Providence Engineering Society is a non-profit organization that promotes the practice of sound, responsible engineering in order to enhance the quality of life throughout its area communities. A core part of its mission is to support engineering educational programs. The Society has been continuously operating since 1894 and is the oldest professional engineering society in the United States. Visit www.provengsociety.com.

FIRST Robotics Winners Announced – Congratulations to the Rhody Girls!

Congratulations to the Rhody Girls from Providence Career & Tech, beating out 24 other teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition on Saturday, Feb. 16, at New England Institute of Technology.

Girls win big at FIRST robotics competition held at New England Tech

[Click Image For ABC6 News Video]

FIRST Robotics Competition Postponed

The Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge high school robotics tournament has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 16th, at the New England Tech Automotive Center, 101 Access Road, Warwick. The event is free and  open to the public at 9:00 am.  For any questions please contact Erin Flynn in Admissions at eflynn@neit.edu

 

New England Tech to host FIRST Robotics Competition.

New England Tech sponsors the seventh annual FIRST® Tech Challenge

Saturday, February 9, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

Serving as Rhode Island’s FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner, New England Tech will host 30 high school robotics teams at the college’s automotive school (Center for Automotive Technology) located at 101 Access Road, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island's New England Tech hosts robotics competition

Accomplished inventor, Dean Kamen, founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in students through the fun of robotics. The goal is to engage students in order to develop problem solving, critical thinking, and innovative reasoning skills using custom-designed robots.  The participating Rhode Island high school teams will compete for the chance to travel to the FIRST® World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.

New England Tech will serve as the central point of contact for all participating high schools as well as various after school robotic teams.

The event is free and open to the public – all are welcome.

For more information on the FIRST® Tech Challenge, please contact Erin Flynn, Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events at New England Tech at 401-739-5000, ext. 3462. To learn more about the FIRST® organization, please visit http://www.usfirst.org

 Saturday, February 9, 2013

9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Under the leadership of President Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit technical college with an enrollment of more than 3,000 students. The college offers over 30 associate, bachelor and master’s degree programs and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Five Questions with Erin Flynn, New England Tech’s FIRST Robotics event coordinator

The manager of admissions outreach and events at the New England Institute of Technology talks to PBN about the upcoming FIRST high school robotics competition.

Posted by Providence Business News on January 9, 2013

Erin Flynn is the manager of admissions outreach and events and the New England Institute of Technology. Flynn has been employed at New England Tech for 25 years and also serves as the contact person for the RI FIRST Tech Challenge.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and is a nationwide is a robotics competition for high school students.

Flynn, who holds a Masters in technical education as well as a Bachelor’s in communications from Rhode Island College, talked to Providence Business News about the upcoming FIRST competition taking place at New England Tech.

PBN:

Can you explain a little bit about what the FIRST robotics competition is?

FLYNN: 

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., the charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

There are three levels of FIRST Robotics for Rhode Island students to get involved. Rhode Island FIRST Lego League, ages 9- 14. The Championship is this weekend at Roger Williams University with 60 RI teams. Once the students have “aged out” of Lego League, our hope is that students will continue on to the FIRST Tech Challenge. Currently, we have several students on multiple teams who have done this. The FIRST Tech Challenge is for students ages 14-18 years old. The teams are comprised of 10-12 high school age students and can be run through the high school, after school, or club team. High school students have the option to get involved with the third level FIRST Tech Challenge, of which there are five teams in Rhode Island.

New England Tech is serving its seventh year as the Rhode Island Affiliate Partner for the FIRST Tech Challenge and as a major sponsor. I serve as the point person for the college. I work with the high school educators and after school teams, the Rhode Island industry volunteers as well as the National FIRST Office. I ensure that all teams have the information they need, that Rhode Island industry volunteers are ready and well prepared, as well as coordinate all event details.

Rhode Island high school age students in the FIRST Tech Challenge compete head to head with robots they have designed. Each year the game or challenge changes. This year is the game RING IT UP.

FIRST is a great way for Rhode Island students to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers in a hands-on fun way. I like to think of this event as STEM in action! Rhode Island teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

PBN:

How did New England Tech get involved with the competition?

FLYNN: 

NEIT got involved with FIRST seven years ago. U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin invited FIRST founder, Dean Kamen, to the Business Innovation Factory event to talk about FIRST. After Dean Kamen spoke about FIRST, then Governor Carcieri encouraged all the schools to get involved.

Through the Business Innovation Factory and other funding that NEIT was not involved with, the materials needed for high schools to get started in the FIRST Tech Challenge were purchased. The group needed someone to be the state FIRST Affiliate Partner and run the details of the program. My understanding is that Tech Collective suggested NEIT.

Part of my responsibility at New England Tech is to organize high school events. The college had hosted contests here in the past such as SkillsUSA and the Ocean State Automotive Contest. Our ability to organize the details of this type of tournament was what NEIT could offer. Once the initial funding for the project ran out, NEIT felt strongly that this event was important for RI high school students and took on the fiscal aspect.

PBN:

The actual building of a robot seems like a tough task for high school students, how much adviser help is there?

FLYNN: 

The building of the robot is tough, but students can get through it. There is great on-line assistance for teachers, coaches, and mentors. I will also say that the coaches and mentors are in touch with each other and are great about offering support to one another. NEIT does host workshops for educators and students as needed.

One of the important lessons students learn from this experience is how to work on a team. Some students may be better designers, builders, or programmers. Within the team, the students are encouraged to take on various roles. Certainly the educators or parents involved do a great job with the teams.

Teams are encouraged to reach out and work with Rhode Island business partners, which are of great help! Individuals from Rhode Island businesses that specialize in Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, or Mechanical Design Technology can offer a team a different perspective. Rhode Island high school students meeting and discussing design ideas with Rhode Island industry professionals is a great connection to make.

As part of designing, building, and programming the robot, teams need to keep an Engineering Notebook documenting the process of building the robot. Teams will be judged on this notebook as well. Judges are looking to see what processes the teams utilized to reach their final design.

PBN:

What is your favorite part of the FIRST program?

FLYNN: 

My favorite part of the FIRST program is when the Rhode Island high school teams are at the tournament, their nerves have worn off, and they are completely engrossed in the experience. The energy level, the crazy costumes and hats, the fun they have meeting each other all add to the event while they are making sure their robot is competition ready. The last match is like the Superbowl! It makes all the work worth it.

PBN:

Why do you think programs like this one are important for high school students?

FLYNN: 

We know that high school students select careers based on what they know and what they have experienced. The FIRST Tech Challenge encourages the Rhode Island high school students to get involved with math, physics, programming, designing and building a robot in a fun, competitive manner. STEM in action!