Feedback: First Robotics provides youth with enthusiasm for technology

FIRST Robotics helps attract students to manufacturing. Please mentor or contribute.


In Philadelphia, local FIRST Robotics teams accepted Rockwell Automation’s invitation to demonstrate robotics skills at the Automation Fair. For the first 30 seconds of this competition, the robot operates autonomously, shooting as many baskets as possiblThe number one goal of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is “attracting more students into manufacturing,” according to Control Engineering, October, "Help Wanted in Manufacturing," by Mark T. Hoske. 

Last spring, I served as a judge at the Dallas East Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Dallas Convention Center. If the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is looking for an enthusiastic student audience, I had a front row seat in observing young adults eagerly show off what they had learned about technology. These high school teams had built robots that shot baskets into hoops and maneuvered offensively and defensively around a basketball court.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is “strategically deploying resources to accomplish these goals,” Hoske said in that “Think Again” commentary. My local professional society, North Texas Section of the International Society of Automation, has donated $500 to defray the high start-up costs for the Jack E. Singley Academy, Irving, Texas, High School Robotics team. I have also contacted five other local professional societies and challenged them to ether mentor or give financially to a local DFW area First Robotics Team.

Marcus Rasco, president, North Texas Section of the International Society for Automation, presents a $500 donation to the Jack E. Singley Academy, Irving, Texas, After Shock Robotics Team, for FIRST Robotics. Courtesy: Marcus RascoTherefore, I also challenge the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in this season of team formation and high start-up costs to either give financially or mentor a local FIRST Robotics Team. The FIRST Robotics website is

- Marcus Rasco, president, North Texas ISA Section. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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