January 27, 2010
KnowledgeCenter and Trend Micro come to together on their first outing as partners to sponsor Systemetric, the Hills Road Sixth Form College Robotics Team.
Systemetric will enter the 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition, a prestigious U.S based robotics competition entered by over 1,500 high schools across the U.S, as well as many international teams from places as far afield as Brazil, Israel and the Netherlands.
About FIRST organisation
The aim of the FIRST organisation is to raise the profile of Science and Engineering in schools, along with instilling a strong sense of teamwork, responsibility and 'gracious professionalism' in every student who takes part. As part of this, they run a series of competitions aimed at various age groups, of which the FIRST Robotics Competition is just one.
The competition itself involves building a robot capable of completing tasks set for that particular years game, which can vary from using rubber rings to play a three-dimensional game of Connect-4 to a robotics version of basketball. If this wasn't enough of a challenge in itself for a team of high school students, the robot has to be designed, built and programmed in six weeks around a busy school schedule. Nevertheless, even with such challenges facing Systemetric, the team has consistently performed well, having won the New York regional competition outright in 2004 and been semi-finalists in 2006, along with a string of other trophies to their name.
The Systemetric Team consists of around 30 students, along with a small team of adult mentors to guide the students. The entire team, along with a subset of the mentors, go out to New York every spring to compete with their creation, competing against up to sixty other U.S high schools in the regional heat.
Teacher-mentor to Team Systemetric, David Massey says:
"Our continued participation is solely dependant on the generosity of the companies and individuals who sponsor us, and without their support this would never happen. By KnowledgeCenter and Trend Micro sponsoring us, they will be helping to train the next generation of scientists and engineers, some of whom may well end up using the skills that KnowledgeCenter and Trend Micro have helped to develop by sponsoring us."