Robotics teams affiliated with City Schools have a new space to build and test their robots. With the unveiling of the Rochester City School District's new Rochester Engineering Centre, city students now have a dedicated space where they can design, build, test and program their robots for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition.
The Rochester Engineering Centre focuses on developing students' skills in the key STEM area through activities on FIRST Robotics teams. The Centre includes a machine shop, metal shop, two computer labs, meeting rooms, work space for a number of teams, a practice field, and most importantly, mentors who are committed to the program.
The after-school robotics program is designed to foster more interest in careers in science and technology among city school district students. By devoting a special space to the program, the RCSD is enabling students to work with mentors from area companies and universities, such as Xerox Corp. , Bausch + Lomb, Kodak, RIT, MCC, in addition to their home schools over an intense, six week build season. The goal is to produce a functional robot that can compete against other teams from the Finger Lakes Region and nationally.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is often seen as a stepping stone for students into the Engineering career path. For the students, the hands-on experience helps them apply what they learn in the classroom to real life projects with tangible outcomes in a way that is both fun and inspirational. It also provides the opportunity to practice skills they will need in the world outside of school organization, team work, punctuality, and working to deadlines. School district students involved in the program have gone on to careers in marketing, design, business, education, and art at schools such as Harvard, RIT, University of Rochester, RPI, Brockport, Geneseo, and SUNY Alfred among others.