Imagine a competition of ideas, imagination, business and engineering that instills these virtues in your future employees and colleagues. This is what FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is all about. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, entrepreneur and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter and the Independence IBOT Mobility System. Dean has been a tireless advocate for science and technology and continually works on designing accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self confidence, knowledge and life skills.
Team Paragon is a FIRST Robotics team that began in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2001. Each year, teams of high school students and engineer mentors have six weeks to brainstorm, design, build, program, and test a robot to play a specified ‘game’ by accomplishing a multidisciplinary task. While some team members may work exclusively on fabricating and programming the robot, other students are responsible for marketing and team image. Additionally, all students are responsible for raising the funds necessary to support the team. FIRST teaches many valuable skills needed for both business and engineering. Not only must the students design and build a robot, they must market the team, manage a budget, and invent strategies for competition. Teams are also encouraged to help and work with other teams. This program helps shape students into not only knowledgeable engineers, but innovative thinkers as well.
Team Paragon attends at least 2 District Competitions each season. We also attend one to three off-season competitions. To attend the competitions, we need to raise funds. But for us, it is not just about raising a budget and assembling a robot. Each year, we take seriously the need to give back to our community. Our team participated in the WVA Project Santa, Jaycees Christmas Tree Sales, OTIS United Way Volley Ball Tournament and MS Society Bike-a-Thon – just to name a few. Our team is always trying to get involved in the community and have the community be involved in our robotics.
Team Paragon’s average annual budget is over $25,000. Our expenditures are not only robot parts and equipment, but also our build location, registration and travel expenses for two District Competitions and several post-season competitions, t-shirts and other spirit materials, various supplies needed by our sub-groups, and food to feed the team. Each year there are at least 3,100 teams from 12 countries, over 78,000 high school students and 100,000+ mentors and supporters involved in FIRST Robotics.
All of this comes from the generous contributions from local businesses and corporate sponsors, and we very much appreciate your consideration in making a donation to Team Paragon. If you would like further information regarding sponsorship, or a student presentation about FIRST, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support!