The 2010 FIRST regionals in San Jose, Calif., on March 20, combined the excitement of a sporting event to science and technology via robotics competitions.
Photo courtesy of Bishop-Wisecarver Corp.

To help inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, Bishop-Wisecarver Corp., Pittsburg, Calif., a manufacturer of products using guided motion technology, is a Silver Supplier with the nonprofit organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

As a FIRST Robotics Competition Silver Supplier, Bishop-Wisecarver provided an in-kind contribution of $29,000 for the competition’s Kit of Parts, which was distributed to more than 1,800 teams of high-school students. Bishop-Wisecarver also is co-sponsoring three local high schools.

“We have been closely following the teams’ progress in their designing and building of their robots for the regional competitions,” says Pamela Kan, Bishop-Wisecarver’s president.

According to FIRST, by providing components for the competition, the suppliers are putting the latest technology into the hands of students, giving them the opportunity to apply the same tools used by professional scientists and engineers and ultimately helping them learn real-world skills.

Each parts kit contains 577 items, including motors, batteries, control system, PC, and a mix of automation components - but no instructions. Working with mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program and test their robots in preparation for regional events that measure the effectiveness of each robot as well as the students’ collaboration and determination.