The Freeland Robotics Team, also called the Freeland Fabricators, has earned a spot in the FIRST Robotics Competition, a global championship in St. Louis, Missouri, after successfully competing in the district and then the state level. To help the aspiring young engineers build the best bot possible, R&M offered their expertise and instruction. R&M helped the students to safely weld, program and build their robots. While the students did the work, R&M was able to help with any snags along the way.
The Freeland Fabricators attended the district competition at Midland Dow High School on March 24 and 25 and competed with another school in a team effort. The Freeland Fabricators placed 3rd out of 40 teams during qualifications and they were 2nd place alliance captains going into the finals. The team also earned the Industrial Safety Award for a robot with particularly detailed safety considerations. The team’s performance at the district competition earned them a place at the state competition at Saginaw Valley State University on April 12 through 15. Here, the team’s robot earned them a spot at the world championship in St. Louis, a competition which includes more than 30,000 competitors and 1400 teams across over 62 countries.
The FIRST Robotics Competition required that each team construct an industrial-sized robot which would compete in a challenging field game. Assembling the robot required welding and mechanical construction as well as programming to allow the brain of the bot to communicate with the body. R&M also assisted in building the battery carts which were used to power bots. Every student played an active role in the bot’s construction and R&M guided the students through the construction, helping them safely and effectively construct their mechanical competitor. Students experienced fabrication and programming techniques first-hand while receiving guidance from experienced engineers.
R&M’s team enjoyed sharing their skills, knowledge, and talents with this new generation, and all the staff at R&M was pleased to see the team place 4th in Regionals and successfully compete at the global FIRST competition.
These hands-on skills in robotics, engineering, design, and programming will help the students as they look at colleges and enter the workforce. Forging invaluable connections and already demonstrating their dedication and skill, each of these students will have the option to pursue advanced careers in robotics, engineering, or programming starting with a university program, or start their careers straightaway with a manufacturer. Careers in STEM fields are growing almost twice as fast as every other field, which is leaving a wide range of jobs unfilled. The students, particularly female students, who are statistically less likely to choose STEM careers, will have a long list of career options available to them after high school or after college. R&M is proud to support the local community and show Freeland youth just how interesting robotics, engineering, and industrial robots can be.