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The New Cool: FIRST Robotics is a Rockstar « The NASA Lady

The New Cool: FIRST Robotics is a Rockstar

Apr 30, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

The 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition season kicked off with a suprise appearance by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. During the kickoff, with Dean Kamen right at his side, will.i.am pledged his support for FIRST as an inspirational program that not only those of us who are deeply involved in FIRST, but the whole world see the excitement and value of participating, sponsoring, mentoring, coaching, and volunteering with a FIRST team(s). We all knew that whatever will.i.am and Dean were planning it would be much bigger than the two of them standing in Manchester talking about will.i.am’s coming on board as a……………..

That was the tricky part. What exactly would will.i.am be bringing and doing to promote FIRST? That question was clearly answered last night as will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas performed to a packed Championship FIRST Robotic Competition crowd in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.
The performance itself was outstanding but what will.i.am has done is brought celebrity to the game where entertainers Snoop Doggy Dog, Miley Cyrus, Jack Black, and Steven Tyler talked about the importance of science and technology and ended their thoughts with “My robot is better than your robot.”

He received a FTC kit of parts and built a robot that competeted against Dean Kamen’s robot and according to the story, will.i.am’s robot beat Dean’s by a score of 73-9. After being involved in FIRST and building robots at all three FIRST program levels FLL, FTC, and FRC, I am ecstatic that will.i.am has taken the lead and brought rockstar status to FIRST. He told the crowd that in his initial conversations, Dean stated he wanted will.i.am to bring an element of cool to FIRST. Kick it up a notch, connect with a huge pool of young people who are so pluged in to their iPods and MP3 players that having a star power would elevate FIRST through the roof. He told Dean that FIRST was already cool but what he could bring was loud.

He was so right. The performance was videotaped as well as interviews around the pits with teams and will air on ABC this August. The performance was so loud smaller cameras don’t do it justice but here is a clip from last night. I’ll post several of the ones I shot when I get back from Championships. Not only was last night a good night but FIRST Robotics will never be the same. As always, enjoy!

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