There's Keystone in every Great invention

Winners Crowned at the 2015 FIRST World Championship

May 22, 2015

For the last 23 years, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) has challenged and inspired thousands of future design engineers. Often called “the hardest fun you’ll ever have” by past participants, the FRC helps young people discover the rewards of STEM education and technological prowess.

FRC was created by Dean Kamen—a notable inventor and entrepreneur—to embolden students to pursue careers in science and technology. The competition pairs mentors with high school-aged students and tasks them to create functioning robots; these robots are built using electronic component kits and a common set of rules. Once built, each teams’ robots square off in unique, engaging games.

Nearly 20,000 students from around the world traveled to St. Louis, MO to vie for the 2015 FIRST World Championship title. This year’s event spanned four days in April and it featured a recycling-themed game called RECYCLE RUSHSM. In this game, FRC teams used their created robots to score points by stacking totes and recycling containers on scoring platforms, and properly disposing pool noodles in waste receptacles.

When the dust settled, a crowd of over 40,000 looked on as four exceptional teams earned the right to be called FRC champions: the Robonauts of League City, TX; the Citrus Circuits of Davis, CA; the Buchanan Bird Brains of Clovis, CA; and Gryffingear of Palmdale, CA. The winners were overjoyed by this prestigious honor, and they took the opportunity to encourage other youths to pursue their STEM-related passions.

Though worthy champions were crowned, all participants in the FIRST competition are winners. FIRST is actually an acronym, which means “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” According to Mr. Kamen, this competition is a “Sport for the Mind”; it combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology, with the goal of attracting a new crop of industry professionals.

“[Participants] walk away with self-confidence and an awareness of what is possible,” he said in a recent interview. “They walk away…with a transformed perspective of what their future might be.”

Keystone Electronics is a strong supporter of the FRC. Thousands of Keystone’s fuse clips and fuse holders have been integral components of FIRST kits for the last five years.

Keystone learned about the competition through the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA)—an organization that provides resources for electronics companies to grow and flourish within the industry. As an ECIA member for the past 65 years, Keystone jumped at the chance to help the next generation of electronic specialists.

Several other ECIA members also supported the FRC, including:

  • TE Connectivity
  • Sager Electronics
  • RCD Components, Inc.
  • ON Semiconductor
  • Ohmite Manufacturing
  • O'Donnell Associates North, Inc.
  • Murata Electronics N.A., Inc.
  • Marsh Electronics, Inc.
  • KEMET Electronics Corp.
  • Intel
  • Gopher Electronics Company
  • Avnet
  • Bourns, Inc.
  • CUI Inc.
  • Cypress Semiconductor
  • Dove Electronics Components, Inc.
  • Honeywell
  • Littelfuse, Inc.
  • Mouser Electronics
  • Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.

Along with these companies, Keystone is excited to welcome industry newcomers. Each of these talented youngsters learned that there’s a Keystone in every product, and their future is what they make of it.

View some of the highlights of the 2015 FIRST World Championship in this short video.

Images courtesy of Adriana M. Groisman.