| FIRST Design Competition |
Numerous design competitions have appeared on the educational landscape in recent years. In Movie 1, you can hear MIT's Woodie Flowers, teachers and students talk out about the annual design competition called FIRST. This event, started and funded by inventor/designer Dean Kaman, involves thousands of high school students who, with the after-school help of teachers and local-industry-based engineers, design and build robots in preparation for regional and national competitions.
FIRST students are highly motivated, and get to experience a challenging project being brought to completion with a tight deadline. Students learn a "can-do" attitude - a priceless commodity for future work in college and the workplace. Teachers also benefit from working with engineers and seeing the design/production system at work in bringing ideas to fruition in 6 short weeks of intensive work.
In 2004, 975 teams participated in FIRST's regional competitions, with 290 moving on to the finals which in that year was held in Atlanta, GA. A Lego-based version of this competition is available for middle-school students, which also culminates in a national finals competition.