Five high school teams sponsored by Bechtel are competing in the 2013 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) World Championship in St. Louis April 25-27. They are among 400 teams from around the world that qualified to compete in the event, considered the preeminent celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The Bechtel-sponsored teams are from:
- Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville, Tennessee
- James Madison High School, Vienna, Virginia
- Lowell High School, San Francisco, California
- Loyola High School, Montréal, Québec
- Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
“Loyola High School has been competing in FIRST since 1998, and we continue to do so because of the positive effect it has on our students,” said John Charlton, Loyola High School special projects manager. “The knowledge transfer from mentor to student is a unique aspect of FIRST Robotics, and the program could simply not exist without support from sponsors like Bechtel. The experienced mentors and funding they provide are invaluable, enabling our team to compete in these major events across North America.”
“For 13 years I have led the Madison Robotics team and it’s incredibly rewarding to see how the FIRST program inspires students and gives them practical experience solving engineering problems. Many of these students go on to pursue a career in a STEM-related field,” said Toss Cline, James Madison High School technology teacher. “This program would not be possible without the help of our sponsors.”
FRC is a high-tech sporting event that features robots designed and built by students. Throughout March and April, teams participated in regional competitions to secure a spot in the world championship. Bechtel colleagues in the United States and Canada mentored students and provided technical guidance as the teams prepared for and participated in the regional competitions.
“As a global engineering company, we continuously looks for ways to engage students in STEM and, at the same time, provide opportunities for our colleagues to volunteer in the communities where they work. FRC allows us to do both,” said Charlene Wheeless, Bechtel’s global manager of corporate affairs. “FRC is a smart and creative program that sparks passion in the next generation of engineers. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”
In addition to FRC, Bechtel supports FIRST programs in Australia, Chile, India, and Malaysia as part of the company’s initiative to foster STEM related learning and improve the quality of life for people through the company’s engineering and construction skills. Bechtel is also partnered with Engineers Week®, Engineers Without Borders, Junior Achievement®, and Ocean Exploration Trust.