June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.1201.1 - 22.1201.11
Providing Opportunities for High School Competition teams: US FIRST Robotic Competition Initiative for Home Schooled StudentsAbstractUS FIRST (US For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organizationdedicated to increasing high school students’ awareness of STEM careers through project-basedlearning with a culture of ‘Gracious Professionalism.’ US FIRST organizes the FIRST RoboticCompetition (FRC), which provides high school teams an opportunity to compete regionally,nationally, and internationally in the area of robotics. ‘The varsity sport for the mind,’ FRCcombines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Although thecompetition is well suited to expand the level of knowledge and understanding of STEM fields,competition entry barriers can be challenging to overcome at any high school. These challengesare amplified for home-schooled students and their parents. Two major barriers include a lack ofinfrastructure and proper training from professionals. This paper describes the initial steps ofunique college initiative that supplies a central location, offers a college infrastructure, andprovides hands-on training modules and instruction. The central location acts similarly to hackerspaces, which is distinguished as, a physical location providing a common place of likemindedtinkers to collaborate on projects. Meanwhile, hands-on modules are developed and taught bypartnering engineers in collaboration with college faculty. The model applies the constructionistlearning theory with structured preparation for the competition. In addition, the paper presentsissues and solutions to implementing an innovative opportunity for home, public and privateschooled students. This initiative lays the groundwork for future endeavors with the intent toexpand and sponsor multiple teams in the future.
Fagan, T. J., & Holt, G. D. (2011, June), Providing Opportunities for High School Competition Team: U.S. FIRST Robotic Competition Initiative for Home Schooled Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18766
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