Getting a robot into the hands of a child- the earlier the better! -goes a long way towards inspiring a lifelong love of science and math. Kids become comfortable with what is often considered intimidating, and they learn that being smart is cool!
FIRST, the organization that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them primarily in robotics competitions, conducted an independent, retrospective survey of FIRST Robotics Competition participants and compared results to a group of non-FIRST students with similar backgrounds and academic experiences, including math and science. When compared with the comparison group, FIRST students are:
- More than 3 times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
- Roughly 10 times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year.
- Significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree.
- More than twice as likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology.
- Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
- More than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
The Gorge Technology Alliance’s mission is to support, connect and develop the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge. We believe that support includes ensuring we have high-quality educational opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at every level, from K-12 and beyond. This means that we can attract and retain tech businesses, their employees and families and lay the foundation for our future tech workforce.
Our goal is to increase awareness of the robotics programs and improve access to them. We are also working to increase the number of student participants and the number of parents, teachers and community volunteers who can help as coaches and mentors. Through the GTA, the Gorge tech industry is using their tools, know-how and resources to realize the vision of this region standing at the forefront of the innovative new economy.