TNT OUTREACH EFFORTS
FIRST is more than just robots.
Many people do not realize this. While FIRST is the premiere youth robotics organization in the world, running programs from the FIRST Lego League to the FIRST Tech Challenge to the FIRST Robotics Competition, the goals of the company do not center around robotics.
FIRST builds students. The robots are simply a vehicle to do so. In today's world so reliant on science and technology, we need extracurricular activities that teach more than how to strategize and beat your opponent. We need programs that prepare students to fulfill their goals, programs that teach creativity and sportsmanship and business skills.
FIRST Robotics teaches students these and many other skills. Here, a successful team is more than one that has won more than 20 regional competitions. It is more than a team that has been in FIRST since founding in 1992. It is about how the teams reach out to their communities to drive engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math. It is about teaching business skills, where many times companies cooperate with others as well as compete against them. Finally, it is about preparing students for their careers and lives outside of school.
Many people also don't realize that Regional Winner is not the highest award that can be achieved at a regional. The highest award is the Chairman's Award, which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become scientists, engineers, and technologists.
TNT strives to match these goals set by FIRST. It has always been our mission to reach out to our school, community, and state. Just like FIRST, our primary goals focus on the students, and we exist to prepare them for success. Today, TNT can be found at many local and regional events creating awareness of FIRST and it's programs. We participate in parades, workshops, camps, classes, flea markets, festivals, and other outreach activities around the state. In 2017, we mentored two rookie FRC teams. We have alumni all around the United States involved in many fields. Most importantly, we have touched the lives of many people, and as they say, "I wouldn't be going where I am today without robotics."