FIRST works to involve children in the fun of science and technology, while also introducing them to potential career paths. Described by organizers as the "Superbowl of Smarts," FIRST combines science, engineering and technology into a rigorous spectator event. FIRST includes a robotics competition for grades 9-12, a technology challenge for grades 7-12 and LEGO leagues for grades K-8.
Last year's First Championship was held at Edward Jones Dome and the America's Center and attracted more than 640 teams. This year organizers expect more than 12,000 participants from 20 different countries. Due to the growing popularity of the program, the 2015 event will include activities at Union Station and Renaissance Grand Hotel.
In addition to new venues, this year's event will also feature an Innovation Faire and Inspiration Station at Renaissance Grand Hotel, which are free and open to the public. The family-friendly Inspiration Station will highlight how creativity and technology intersect through entertaining demonstrations and hands-on activities presented by FIRST partners. In addition to robotics, visitors can also explore other themes like sustainability and women in STEM fields.
FIRST has hosted events in St. Louis since 2011 and will continue to host championship events here through 2017. They cite the city's infrastructure, facilities, community support and numerous educational and cultural attractions as a draw for students, volunteers, coaches and families visiting from out of town to participate in the event.
The FIRST Robotics Competition will be held at America's Center (701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO, 63101). FIRST LEGO League will compete there as well. Visitors at Union Station (1820 Market St., St. Louis, MO, 63103) can see work by Junior FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams. At Renaissance Grand Hotel (800 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63101), visitors can explore exhibits by FIRST sponsors, suppliers and special guests. Opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Edward Jones Dome (901 N. Broadway, St. Louis, MO, 63101).
For more information and a schedule of events visit usfirst.org.
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