Canon Solutions America, a leading provider of imaging solutions, is proud to announce their sponsorship of Robotics Team Dirty Mechanics (#3932) in the prestigious For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition. The competition, which is set to take place from April 17-20, 2024, brings together talented students from across the country to showcase their engineering prowess.
Located in Boca Raton, Florida, The Dirty Mechanics team is a collaboration of students from multiple schools in the South Florida region. With a rich history dating back to 2011, this year marks the team’s impressive 12th year in operation. Comprising of eleven dedicated volunteer mentors with backgrounds in engineering and business, the team provides invaluable guidance to its members.
Leading the charge as a volunteer mentor is Dave Ferguson, a principal engineer at Canon Solutions America. Drawing from his expertise, Ferguson contributes valuable technical knowledge to help the students develop vital soft skills such as problem-solving, effective communication, and leadership capabilities. He emphasized the importance of programs like FIRST Robotics in bridging the gap between athletic programs and STEM-focused activities.
With support from Canon Solutions America, the Dirty Mechanics team built “Sargent Sparky,” a formidable four-foot robot that competed in last year’s FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas. In addition to their sponsorship, Canon Solutions America also helped fund travel expenses for another South Florida team, the Children of the Swamp (#179). The impact of the program is evident as 15 alumni of the Dirty Mechanics team have continued their educational journey in STEM programs, some even finding employment at Canon.
Aside from STEM education, the Dirty Mechanics team also places a strong emphasis on business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Recognizing the value of preparing students for future leadership roles, the team provides opportunities for students to explore various aspects of business while simultaneously fostering problem-solving skills both individually and as a group. It is inspiring to witness former team members who have achieved professional success return as mentors, eager to help future generations excel in the fields of science and technology.
Canon Solutions America remains committed to supporting initiatives that promote the development of STEM skills among young minds. By encouraging teamwork, innovation, and a passion for technology, they are helping shape the leaders of tomorrow.
1. What is the FIRST Robotics Competition?
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual event that brings together students from around the world to design, build, and compete with their robots in a thrilling engineering challenge. The competition inspires young minds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
2. How can sponsoring a robotics team benefit students?
Sponsoring a robotics team provides students with valuable opportunities to develop essential skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, and communication. It also exposes them to real-world STEM applications and opens doors to future educational and career opportunities.
3. Why is it important to bridge the gap between athletics and STEM programs?
While athletic programs offer physical fitness and confidence-building benefits, STEM programs allow students to develop critical thinking skills and engage with cutting-edge technologies. Bridging the gap between these two domains ensures that students have a well-rounded education that prepares them for a wide range of future opportunities.
4. How does the Dirty Mechanics team integrate business and entrepreneurship into their STEM-focused activities?
The Dirty Mechanics team recognizes the importance of business and entrepreneurship skills in the STEM field. They provide opportunities for students to explore the business side of technology while simultaneously sharpening their problem-solving abilities. By incorporating these elements, the team equips students with a broader skill set and a deeper understanding of the practical applications of STEM.
5. How can former team members contribute as mentors?
Former team members who have achieved professional success often return to mentor current team members. As mentors, they provide guidance, share industry insights, and inspire younger students to pursue careers in science and technology. Their presence serves as a testament to the long-term impact of programs like FIRST Robotics.