SEP and Indiana FIRST Robotics in 2018

January 3, 2018

SEP will be renewing its sponsorship of First Robotics in 2018 and the opportunities to volunteer short-term are coming up in March and April.

First Robotics in Indiana, also called “Indiana FIRST” is such a great program.  In late December, we met with the organization to get an update on their 2018 efforts. My favorite part of these updates is the metrics from this remarkable program. They shared the results from year four of a new ten-year study of the First program sponsored by Brandeis University.

During SEP’s talent acquisition team retro and one of the hot topics we discussed was inclusiveness. No one is happy about the lack of diversity of our industry. Indiana FIRST is helping to fix this situation (see below).  The numbers are equally encouraging for underserved students.

On the other side of the STEM employment issue is the future supply of workers. We need to widen the pipeline and make these career attractive (and attainable) for a larger set of individuals. Generally speaking, we need more kids to pursue STEM educations!  Indiana FIRST is making an impact here and helping students generally be better students. Students that participate in FIRST are 50 percent more likely to go to college and twice as likely to major in science and engineering.

SEP supports Indiana FIRST because it works! The program is well researched and starts early enough in the educational journey to change the trajectory for all the kids involved.

Now, here is the ask. If we want to change our industry and the lives of many young kids can we do more than just write a check every year?

There are some great opportunities to support Indiana FIRST at its robotics competitions. There are many regional and championship competitions, both official and off-season, that take place throughout the state. Every event requires 40 — 80 volunteers to make it a success. No expertise is required, just a passion to help our future leaders grow and succeed.Volunteering is typically a one-day commitment, usually on the weekend. Most importantly, they need judges. Get involved and help inspire our next generation of STEM leaders.

Please feel free to reach out to Charles Tippett or me for more information.