Bishop-Wisecarver Group, a WBENC-certified family of companies that offer guidance solutions, contract specialty manufacturing and mechatronic-based engineering services, is celebrating a decade of committed support to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as it continues to sponsor the FIRST Robotics programs. In 2017, Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) is a Diamond Supplier at the national level and supports four regional teams who are learning the importance of STEM-based academics, as well as the needed 21st-century work skills of problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration.
“Supporting the FIRST program for ten years has been a rewarding experience on every level as we’ve watched students learn about STEM opportunities in a hands-on team experience that has provided inspiration and confidence for their futures,” said Pamela Kan, president of Bishop-Wisecarver Group.
“We talk often about the skills gap issues facing STEM-related fields, including manufacturing, and programs like FIRST are making a notable, positive difference in this area. FIRST has tracked that 75 percent of their alumni are in a STEM field as a student or professional—those are amazing results.”
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people and now includes several different competitions for various age groups and interests. The 2017 FIRST programs will include more than 3,000 teams from 25 countries, more than 83,000 youth team members and 20,000 mentors and adult sponsors, as well as $50 million in scholarships.
As a select Diamond Supplier, BWG has donated wheels and tracks for the 2017 FRC competition. This includes in-kind donations of DualVee Linear Guide Track, part of the DualVee product line used for linear and rotary guided motion applications, and MadeWell wheels that allow students to use vee groove wheel bearings on 90-degree vee track to create high load capacity linear guides. These products are offered to all teams who then have six weeks to transform a box of various parts into a working robot that performs specific tasks.
In addition to being a Diamond Supplier, BWC is sponsoring four California-based FIRST teams to help fund their projects and travel to regional competitions:
- FRC Team 692 – The Fembots – St. Francis Catholic High School, Sacramento, CA
- FRC Team 1967 – The Janksters – Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA
- FRC Team 5430 – Pirate Robolution Crew – Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, CA
- FTC Team 7593 – The TigerBots – Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
Paulina Robles, a senior serving as the Mechanical Committee Head of the all-female Janksters team, said, “Every year, the FIRST challenge is different and challenging, but fun. We like to say it’s the hardest fun we’ve ever experienced.”
An important aspect of the FIRST program is the role of team mentors. Julio Garcia, a senior serving as the CEO of the Pirate Robolution team, emphasized the crucial role of these teachers and volunteers. “If at any point the team got off task, or needed help, our mentors would help put us on the right path, and keep us on track. They would add on to our ideas and inspire us to continue.”
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12;FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO ® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.firstinspires.org.
Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) is a family of WBENC-certified companies that works with manufacturers to engineer, manufacture, and build linear and rotary motion solutions, custom complex assemblies, and optimal embedded intelligence systems. Through the integration of mechanical, electrical, software, control and systems design engineering expertise, 65+ years of experience and 20,000+ unique clients, BWG continues to provide a single point of service that results in custom designs, increased efficiencies and accelerated time to market. For more information, visit www.bwc.com.