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For the discussion of Sparkfun events such as Free Day, Antimov, AVC, etc.
By Joeisi
#158044
This is slightly unrelated and only a thought but I think it would be to Sparkfun's advantage to become a sponsor of FRC and FIRST Robotics competitions: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc (Sorry to lazy to make a fancy looking link). I have seen many bots with custom electronics like LED strips, arduino controllers(for the led strips), and the like. I think it would be interesting if SFE would help co-sponsor such an event. The program follows the STEM philosophy, so I think it could be a great relationship.

Just a thought. Care to support or criticise.
By guysapire
#158627
great idea.
there's also:
FTC (for ages 12-18. stands for FIRST Tech Challenge. which is similar to the FRC, less demanding money/time-wise, and physically smaller scaled robots and fields)
FLL (stands for FIRST Lego League. for elementary and middle school students. they build small robots built from NXT/mindstorm parts. this robots work completely autonomously for the whole game)
Jr. FLL (for children ages 6–9. every year they have the same topic as the FLL just they don't have any actual competitions. its only educational)
By SFE-Toni
#158753
It is a great suggestion! Brian in our Education department actually helps coach a FIRST team, so it is definitely on our minds. I believe a few teams have been sponsored, and I know we have done some judging and talks at these competitions in the past. If you have questions about it, check out https://learn.sparkfun.com/.
By fll-freak
#158860
I have been involved with FIRST LEGO League since 1999. First as a coach, then as a special projects directors, and now as a coach adviser. It is a fantastic program teaching STEM concepts in a fun way. Just look at my user ID, and you can see just how involved I am!
FLL is not just "kids playing with LEGO". We have had judges forced to sign NDAs prior to judging as their research project patent was still under review. We have had teams get laws passed in state government. And recently, we have had a team (one that I helped mentor) appear on the Shark Tank program.
Anything that SFE or anyone else can do to advance the FIRST cause is a help to the students and in the long run our economy. My employer is the New Hampshire state partner. They invest a mid 6 figure amount each year to put of the FRC and FLL tournaments. They are now reaping that investment with kids that were in the LEGO program now being hired on.
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