By David Fleet
St. Louis-Two Goodrich robotics teams were among 600 that competed this past weekend April 27-30 at the For
Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, World Championship at the Edward Jones Dome. Worldwide the Martians were selected from among 3,128 FIRST teams from 24 countries. The teams reached the world event by qualifying over four months of state competition. The Go
odrich teams were among 78 Michigan teams that qualified.
More than 40,000 spectators attended the four day event where The Martians team 494 and More Martians team 70 battled through the competition and finished in the top 7 percent overall.
“I am very proud of the teams this year, they both had great competition seasons,” said Pat Major, team mentor for the Martians. “Finishing ahead of 93 percent of the teams on the planet makes us very proud. Of the 600 teams from around the world at the competition only 192 move on to the district elimination rounds. Finishing in the top 7 percent in the world is not too shabby.”
“‘It is not just about robots,’ is the mantra you will hear bandied about at the competition,” said Major. “While we were at the competition a (robot) drive team member came to me during a break in the competition and said, ‘Mr Major, the drive team just went down to scholarship row and each of us applied for two scholarships each.’” Major emphasized that more than 200 scholarship providers offer more than 900 scholarship opportunities to FIRST students, making a total of $25 million available to them.
“General Motors is a generous sponsor of FIRST and a sponsor of both Goodrich teams,” he said. “They sponsored a wrap-up party on Friday night and explained to students how to get internships and jobs at GM and that FIRST team members are moved to the top of the list. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was honored and received the “Make It Loud Award” for his support and funding of Michigan teams. Side trips to the St. Louis ARCH and a trip to the unique City Museum—that has nothing to do with the city and is a must see if you visit the area. It is about much more than building robots.”