Building Robots and A Better Tomorrow with STEM

MC-4-Parker-FIRSTProgramWithSTEM-400.jpg

March 25, 2021

When it comes to STEM Education and career opportunities, Parker Hannifin and international youth organization FIRST are closely aligned.

Founded in 1989, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is probably best known for its annual Robotics Competition, where competition teams design, program and build a robot starting with a standard kit of parts and common set of rules to play on a themed course.

Parker has been involved since the early days of the competition as a funder and supplier of valves and fittings in the robotics kits. Over the years, individual Parker team members across the globe have also signed on to mentor students, start teams of their own and even help to establish new regional chapters.

Indeed, both organizations are actively working to level the playing field and help more young people get into the game.

“We established the Buckeye Regional more than 20 years ago,” explains Pete Buca, Vice President Sustainability and Innovation Processes at Parker and joint chairman of the FIRST Buckeye FRC Regional Competition. “Today, the Parker Hannifin Foundation is one of its largest funders.”

In all, Buca estimates Parker sponsors between 30 and 50 teams as well as several regionals around the country. In 2020, Parker helped to start five new Cleveland teams focused on engaging disadvantaged youth with STEM-related activities and opportunities in higher education. While the competition was ultimately canceled last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Buca expects the work will resume.

Hands-on, real-world STEM experience is really just the tip of the iceberg for students. Under strict rules and with limited time and resources, the FIRST Robotics Competition has teams of high-schoolers building industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game in alliance with other teams, while simultaneously fundraising to meet their goals, designing a team brand and advancing STEM within the local community.

Each regional requires about 150 volunteers and the costs associated with hosting the competition itself can accumulate quickly, depending on scale and how many teams are involved. Not only is the design and construction of a human-sized, ramp-climbing, Frisbee-throwing industrial robot complex. So too is the business plan these teams are responsible for creating.

“In the span of six weeks, a team has to come together and think like a design business, like a manufacturer to assemble and build the product, like quality control, like a marketing firm,” adds Buca. “It’s less to do with the end result and more about engaging our volunteers and community members to empower our kids to do something they never thought possible.”

And that’s what makes FIRST such a great fit for Parker. The only thing better than Enabling Engineering Breakthroughs that Lead to a Better Tomorrow is inspiring and empowering kids to do the same.

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • SIBERprotectTM Protects Industrial OT Systems with Innovative Cyber Response Solution

    May 15, 2024 A cyber-attack can happen within a millisecond. Defend your operation just as fast with SIBERprotectTM: an automated, intelligent solution for your industrial OT operation. By Krystie Johnston Siemens recently introduced SIBERprotectTM, an automated, intelligent solution that defends critical infrastructure and OT systems in industrial settings from cyberattacks. This advanced, automatic, response to… Read More…

  • Press Retrofit is Textbook: New for Old – and Even More Productive!

    May 15, 2024 Grass GmbH, a global manufacturer of movement systems – including telescopic slides – required a safety upgrade of a complete press line for steel forming at their Salzburg plant. Where normative safety requirements are concerned, presses have a special status: so they were looking for a partner that was able to convert… Read More…


Featured Article

Revolutionizing Material Movement with Autonomous Mobile Robots

Revolutionizing Material Movement with Autonomous Mobile Robots

In today’s fast-paced manufacturing and logistics industries, the need for efficient and flexible material movement solutions has never been greater. Traditional methods like conveyor systems, forklifts, and manual pushcarts have served us well, but they come with limitations.

That’s why Omron is thrilled to announce the launch of their game-changing MD Series of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). Read more


Products

  • iTEMP TMT36 Temperature Head Transmitter with IO-Link

    May 22, 2024 iTEMP TMT36’s reliable, long-term stable, single-channel IO-Link temperature transmitter for modular thermometers with form B connection head Endress+Hauser’s iTEMP TMT36 IO-Link temperature transmitter is designed for customers in the food & beverage and life science industry focusing on factory automation who want to benefit from cost-efficient devices that can communicate digitally, e.g…. Read More…

  • Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200 G2, Part of the Siemens Xcelerator Portfolio

    North American Debut at AUTOMATE 2024 – Siemens Announces New Generation of Controller with SIMATIC S7-1200 G2, Part of the Siemens Xcelerator Portfolio May 22, 2024 Key benefits include efficient motion control capabilities, flexible machine safety, increased performance and seamless scalability For the first time in ten years, Siemens is announced a new generation of… Read More…