FIRST: Leading the Way in STEM

June 4, 2018

Science and engineering are without a doubt the future that our world is heading towards, with research and development advancing exponentially. It is said that many of the jobs of the future will be STEM related, and do not even exist at the moment. So how do we, the students who will lead the workforce in the future, prepare for such an unprecedented future?


The solution is simple. Although the knowledge required for a STEM career in the future will undoubtedly have changed, the skills required for future STEM career will still be that same. So it is important that students today immerse themselves into activities which hone essential STEM skills.


A particularly good example is a robotics competition called FIRST, which includes divisions such as FLL, FTC and FRC for all year levels. Depending on the division, the competition contains numerous components - such as robot performance, robot design, team work and team values, and innovation projects. Students work in teams, and use programming skills and design processes to develop a robot which achieves tasks and challenges set by the competition. In the FLL competition, the innovation project component requires teams to identify a problem in society, create a solution, develop and test it, and present their research, design and creative process, and solution to panelists.


Overall, in the competition, students develop skills in creativity, team work, problem solving, critical thinking and communicating, while learning fundamental scientific and engineering theory and designs, and of course, having fun! Global, national and regional (pictured) FIRST competitions are hosted each season, which are a fantastic opportunity for student networking. This competition is an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in a career in STEM in the future - consider joining or forming a team in school or externally. See the FIRST website for further details.


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