FIRST Robotics Teaches Students Leadership, Innovation

Brett Blume @brettblumekmox

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There was big excitement at the Chaifetz Arena this morning, but this time it had nothing to do with the 18th-ranked Billikins.

There were still players on the Arena floor, but they were short and boxy—in robot form.

Competition opened in the FIRST Robotics Regionals, featuring teams of high schoolers from throughout the Midwest showing off what their home-made robots can do. The students built the machines from the bottom-up to meet a specific set of goals; in this case, tossing giant beachballs into a goal.

Miranda Reuther, a junior at Gateway STEM high school, says the program has taught her about leadership and problem-solving, like the time their robot stopped working.

“We sat down with the team and all the coaches and said this is what needed to be done, and this is the amount of time we have,” she says. “So, let’s break this up into different teams and let’s get this done.”

The regional competition runs through this weekend, then the FIRST Robotics World Championships return to Edward Jones Dome in late April, with 25,000 participants.

Don Bossi is president of FIRST Robotics.

“A big impact area is innovation and entrepreneurship, and 21st century skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication,” he says.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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