FIRST Robotics Competition

At Red Arrow, we get excited about ideas. But, we get thrilled when ideas turn into action. For us, it’s not just about creating transformative software for life science and health companies. It’s also about transforming and supporting tomorrow’s generation of leaders. That’s why we joined hundreds of students and spectators recently at the FIRST Robotics Wisconsin Regional. Fifty four teams of high school students designed, prototyped, built, and programmed their robots in 6 short weeks. And last weekend, those robots went head to head.

We proudly sponsored two teams, Team 537 Charger Robotics and Team 2202 BEAST Robotics, who both took part in last weekend's competition.

Debby Oakes, a Red Arrow Business Analyst, who volunteers as a mentor for the BEAST team shared, “FIRST calls itself a ‘varsity sport of the mind’ and ‘the hardest fun you’ll ever have,’ and it’s true. Watching these students learn, fail, and grow over and over is inspiring. Our team has more than 20 professional mentors who donate time teaching the students real-world skills like brainstorming, decision matrices, Agile processes, software programming, and more. Our students thrive thanks to the support from companies like Red Arrow and our mentors. While we didn’t win a spot at Champs this year, our team still learned a lot and heads into the off season with many plans to grow for next year.”

Teams were judged on specific tasks their robots were required to complete during the competition, as well as teamwork, engineering excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit. Team 537 won the Entrepreneurship Award for their team business plan submission. Team 2202 won the Quality Award for the elegant and efficient design of their reliable and easy-to-service robot.

The competition was fierce and in the end, eight Wisconsin teams will go on to compete at the World Championship Events next month. Team 537, who won the regional Chairman’s Award and was on the winning alliance at the St. Louis Regional earlier in March, will compete at the Championship from April 26-29 in St. Louis, MO.

Congratulations to everyone involved. For more information on FIRST and the upcoming World Championship event: firstinspires.org.

FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology - is a not-for-profit organization, which aims to inspire students in science and technology pursuits and teach them hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) skills. Students learn problem-solving and teamwork as well as designing and building robots, working alongside professional mentors.