Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research and Development Corporation in Manchester, New Hampshire, and inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, has made it a personal mission to shore up the sagging interest of American teens in science and engineering.
In 1992 he founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), running an annual nationwide robotics competition, providing 74,000 high school students with creative motivation and hands-on engineering experience this past year.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience and a lot of fun. Our teams came from Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, the U.K., and almost every U.S. state. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines. Colleges, universities, corporations, businesses, and individuals provide scholarships to our participants. Involved engineers experience again many of the reasons they chose engineering as a profession, and the companies they work for contribute to the community while they prepare and create their future workforce. The competition shows students that the technological fields hold many opportunities and that the basic concepts of science, math, engineering, and invention are exciting and interesting.
Being a part of the FIRST Robotics Competition is one of the best experiences a student can have. The program offers millions of dollars in scholarships to students each year, as well as teaches kids about the application of engineering, coding, and business principles each year. We at 834 make it our mission to make sure every student can fit in and has a place on the team, and once you go first, there’s no going back!
Southern Lehigh School District is presently providing an educational program known for its excellence and forward-looking perspective, which is sensitive to the changing needs of its students. The community, faculty, parents, and students have joined together in striving to maintain and enhance that excellence.
Southern Lehigh School District will educate all of our students to maximize their potential and to develop personal tools to become life-long learners and productive members of an ever-changing world.
Our community is located one hour north of Philadelphia, and two hours west of New York, the Lehigh Valley nestles in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. A mixture of urban quality and collegiate excellence, surrounded by rural serenity and beauty, the Valley offers residents a wide range of opportunities and life experiences.
Southern Lehigh School District lies on the southern edge of the Lehigh Valley. Its 48 square miles include the borough of Coopersburg (population 2,500) and the rural townships of Upper Saucon and Lower Milford. The District, made up of three elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school, plays a significant role in the community. The schools encourage parents and residents to participate in many diversified ways — from classroom visitations and open houses to working on community projects. A concerted effort is made by the schools and the community to work closely together to provide children with multifaceted opportunities.
As the community reflects its values in its strong support of quality education for its children, the school district in turn serves the community by providing the vehicle for this educational excellence.
The SparTechs are a student-based team, where almost all decisions are made by student votes, and all registration is set up by the president working with mentors and coaches.
Our mentors are very important to us and are a mix of volunteers, alumni, and sponsors. Working with volunteers in the field is an experience that barely any clubs can offer, and are a very good experience for what life would be like in the future.