AEM Hosts FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Tour
On August 27, 2014, the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) department hosted a FRC tour for high school and middle school students in order to recruit more women into engineering by getting them interested in the robotics team. Kale Hedstrom, the AEM department's lab coordinator and scientist, has been a mentor representing St. Paul high schools for the past seven years.
"Being on a robotics team is very much like being an engineer," said Hedstrom. "I encourage students to try robotics and if they like it, then they would like engineering. Robotics is a great introduction to the field."
The FRC is an international high school robotics competition organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Each year, teams of high school students compete to build robots weighing up to 120 pounds that can play in a game which requires robots to complete tasks such as: Scoring balls into goals, frisbees into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, balancing robots on balance beams, etc. The game changes every year, keeping the excitement fresh and giving each team a more level playing field.
For more information on FRC and its programs, visit: z.umn.edu/FIRST