(Linking Engineering and Philanthropy)
We feel lucky at Team 1540 to have had the opportunity to apply our FIRST skills to a variety of community service projects. However, these projects have constituted quite a bit of work on our end. To give other teams the opportunity to make a difference in their own communities, and to make linking engineering and philanthropy easier than ever, we've compiled a list of resources. We hope this 'toolkit' will inspire teams around the world to use their FIRST skills to solve real world problems and make a difference in their communities. For questions and inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Description: Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams are made up of teams of high schoolers and educators (no size minimum or maximum). Teams brainstorm, design, and build technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing. The program grants $10,000 to individual projects.
Application: There is an initial and final application. The initial application includes an information form, project proposal, interest statement, letter of support, and educator's resume. The final application includes a research summary, project description, project timeline, project organization, and budget.
Prize: Qualifying round: 32 prizes of $10,000. Final round: 2 prizes of $30,000, 8 prizes of $15,000
Description: Teams create practical solutions to environmental problems. There are two initial challenges: land & water and air & climate. 16 winners from each challenge are chosen to advance to the finals. In the final round, team can improve upon their previous project or create a new project.
Application: Teams must submit a PowerPoint presentation with an action plan.
Prize: 1st place: $10,000; 2nd place: $7,000; 3rd place: $5,000; 4-10th place: $1,000
Description: A team of 1-3 students select a problem associated with plastics or the need for clean, cheap energy. Teams identify a specific problem, research its impact, analyze its significance, and design a solution to the problem. In round 1, teams submit a paper and propose their clean technology solution. 30 teams are chosen to advance into round 2. In round 2, students present to a panel of judges and create a prototype.
Application: Teams and leaders must complete a short registration.
Prize: 1st place: $15,000; 2nd place: $15,000; 3rd place: $9,000; 4th place: $5,000; 5th place: $5,000
Description: Students team up with nonprofit agencies that employ individuals with disabilities. Students and nonprofits brainstorm ideas and design workplace technologies that generate new job opportunities for people with disabilities. The challenge has 3 rounds. After round 1 and round 2, 5 teams are selected to advance to round 3, where teams present to a judging panel.
Application: Teams write a 2-10 page paper discussing the challenge being solved, the manner in which it is solved, and the impact of the solution. Teams also create a 3-6 minute video presentation featuring a functional prototype and highlights from the paper.
Prize: $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to each student on the national winning team
Description: Teams of 3-7 students design solutions to real world engineering challenges that confront the nation's leading industries. This year’s challenge is to design an unmanned system capable of detecting the moisture content of a food producing crop field. State winners advance to the national finals in Washington, DC.
Application: Teams must fill out a form on the website.
Prize: Top placing teams split more than $100,000
Description: Teams design a rocket to carry two eggs to an altitude of 850 feet and return the eggs to the ground, undamaged, within 44-46 seconds. The top 100 teams from local qualification flights advance to the National Finals in Washington, DC. The overall winning team travels to the United Kingdom to complete in the International Rocketry Challenge.
Application: Teams must fill a form on their website.
Description: Teams program SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) intended for the International Space Station. Teams program their satellites to complete game objectives (navigate obstacles, pick up virtual objects, etc.) while conserving resources (fuel, charge, etc.) and staying within specified time and code-size limits. The programs are "autonomous. The competition begins with simulations, but after the elimination rounds, finalists' codes are run on SPHERES satellites on the International Space Station.
Application: Teams must fill out an application on the website.
Prize: Best in State winning teams receive $5,000, Best in Nation teams receive an additional $15,000
Description: Middle and high-school students develop concepts for mobile apps that solve a problem in their community. It’s a unique, hands-on learning program that teaches collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurship, as well as STEM skills and coding.
Application: First, teams complete a short registration. Later, teams create a 3-minute video and write an essay.
Prize: Winners attend Innovation Summit at the Kennedy Space Center.
Description: Teams of high schoolers develop solutions to better the world in: aerospace & aviation, cyber technology & security, energy & environment or health & nutrition. The challenge focuses on both innovation and entrepreneurialism.
Application: Teams complete a short 4 question application detailing their project and the problem it solves. Teams also create a 3 minute video introducing themselves and their project.