April 6-14 is National Robotics Week in the US, a time which highlights the importance of robotics in inspiring technology education. Boston Scientific has supported student robotics competitions for over 30 years, and has sponsored teams in the US, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. These programs enable students to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and aim to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields.
This year, Boston Scientific sponsored 47 regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams through a non-profit STEM engagement program called FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). FRC combines the excitement of a sport with the rigors of engineering as high school students are challenged to design, build and program a robot to compete against other teams’ creations. In addition, Boston Scientific is proud to support a number of FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams for students of all ages to gain experience robotics but in smaller, somewhat less intensive programs.
Many Boston Scientific employees volunteer as judges and coaches for FIRST teams and events. Two of these volunteers, Dan Landherr, Principal Electrical Engineer, and Josh Hogan, Senior Process Engineer, were recently recognized with community service awards for their commitment and work with High Tech Kids (HTK). HTK is an organization that manages FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge robotics programs throughout Minnesota.
“When I was young I was able to take a computer course that opened up a new world to me and influenced my future career,” said Dan. “I am thrilled to be able to teach kids how to problem solve with creativity and persistence using FIRST LEGO League as the model.”