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ϲʹ, Gene Haas Foundation Partner Hosts FIRST Robotics District Competitions

The skills [students] are learning in FIRST Robotics teams are relevant, practical and in demand. All these skills translate directly into the real world.”

Mark Terryberry, Manufacturing Manager at Haas Automation

ϲʹ, Gene Haas Foundation Partner Hosts FIRST Robotics District Competitions

Hundreds of future engineers, computer scientists, tech and business leaders gathered on ϲʹ’s campus for two FIRST Robotics district competitions held in March.

This year, the Gene Haas Foundation generously sponsored the competitions, contributing $20,000 and affirming its commitment to advancing manufacturing education. The foundation supports these events to expand the pool of skilled workers by recruiting young people into manufacturing careers and creating advanced training programs.

During the events, representatives from Haas Automation, including James O’Brien and Dan Wilson from Gerotech, a Michigan-based Haas distributor, engaged with participants and spectators. They spoke at the opening ceremonies and manned an informational booth, sharing insights into the importance of manufacturing skills in today’s workforce.

“The world is teeming with exceptional companies who are in need of your technical and relational skills that are being developed at FIRST. We support FIRST because we believe in you,” Manufacturing Manager at Haas Automation. “The skills [students] are learning in FIRST Robotics teams are relevant, practical and in demand. All these skills translate directly into the real world.”

The FIRST robotics program is unique in that many teams fabricate parts using mills, lathes, TIG welding and other machine shop equipment in addition to learning to use CAD, CNC machines and 3D printers. ϲʹ and our co-op employment partners seek students with these skills and place high value on the experience they gain while participating in FIRST robotics.

This year’s game is called “CRESCENDO.”

In CRESCENDO, teams compete to score notes and amplify their speakers, aiming to harmonize their robots onstage and take the spotlight within a time limit. In the first 15 seconds of the match, robots operate autonomously. Drivers control the robots during the remaining two minutes and 15 seconds. Teams earn bonus points when they meet scoring thresholds and cooperate with opponents.

ϲʹ is a longtime supporter of FIRST Robotics. The University became the first site in the country to host back-to-back district tournaments in 2016 and has continued that tradition since. Kettering was also one of the first universities in the country to award FIRST Robotics scholarships, providing more than $4 million in scholarships to FIRST participants since 1999. 

This is the 24th year Kettering has hosted a FIRST competition on its campus, and the Robotics Community Center is in its tenth year on campus.