Championship Brings 12,000 Students Together for Big Ball Toss


Members of Team 2619, The Charge, pose during the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis, Mo. The Charge was one of two Dow-sponsored teams from Michigan that qualified for the event at which the season’s top FIRST Robotics teams are determined. (click to enlarge)

Two teams sponsored by Dow were among 400 competing at the FIRST ™ Robotics Championship April 23 to 26 in St. Louis, Mo. In all, more than 12,000 students from all over the world took part in the event, guiding their customized robots in throwing balls around a special arena to earn points in pursuit of tournament advancement.

Team 4819 from Mount Pleasant, Mich., compiled a record of 7-3 in the event, while Team 2619 from Midland, Mich., was 4-6. Neither advanced to the event finals, but two teams from Michigan were part of the winning alliance and a third Michigan team earned the prestigious Chairman’s Award.

 “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, but here in St. Louis with you, the future,” said music star will.i.am, a strong STEM education advocate, speaking to a crowd of 20,000 people at the event. “If you want a peek at the future, you come here to the FIRST Championship. And when I say future, I mean future leaders, future inventors, and future problem solvers.”


The Team 2619 robot does battle at the FIRST Robotics Championship. (click to enlarge)

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting, mentor-based programs.

For a video tour of the FIRST Robotics Championship led by actress Emma Dumont, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRkbzH7O1Fc. For more information about the FIRST organization, go to www.usfirst.org.