Kevin Ross and Mike Miyoshi, Advisor
Do you know about Riverview School District's FIRST Washington Robotics after-school program? You might have seen the Stealth Robotics Team 4089 from their t-shirt cannon at Cedarcrest football games and school assemblies. However, this CTE student leadership organization does so much more than just entertain audiences with their robots.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit public entity founded in 1989 by entrepreneur and Segway inventor, Dean Kamen. FIRST was started by Mr. Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The organization further strives to design accessible, innovative programs which motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and much needed 21st Century Skills. In fact, statistics demonstrate that over 88% of FIRST students have more interest in doing well in high school and 92% are more interested in attending college.
As of 2018, the Cedarcrest FIRST Robotics team has been in existence for seven years. Currently, the program is under the mentorship of four dedicated volunteers, Kevin Ross (CHS FIRST founder), Jim Wright, Eric Nesbitt, and Lloyd McCracken. These volunteers and FIRST students meet afterschool 3-4 days a week.
Under strict rules, limited financial resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of CHS students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone their teamwork skills, plus build and program an industrial-size robot using exact specifications. Then these students go on to play difficult field game scenarios against fierce competitors from all over the region and country. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a high school student can get. Cedarcrest’s FIRST students learn coding, manufacturing, use of the Metals/Wood Shop to design and assemble their machines, programming, driving skills, time management, perseverance, solving difficult problems, and lots of organization. All of these skills add up in a positive way to help to shape the future for each of the young adults involved.
FIRST Robotics is open to ANY student who would like to be involved. There are many different robotics jobs in which a student can participate, so those with an interest and motivation can find their own particular FIRST niche.
The Riverview School District CTE department welcomes any support in financing FIRST Robotics or folks interested in volunteering. For more information about all of the nationwide FIRST programs, please visit www.usfirst.org. To contact CTE Director, Kari Schuh, call (425) 844-4855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.