Keeping Kids Engaged in STEM with AutomationDirect and Robotics
Recently, AutomationDirect’s very own Rick Folea, Senior Technical Marketer, was featured on North Fulton Business Radio speaking about STEM and how local Robotics programs are helping kids learn and become excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. The complete interview can be heard here:
Since 2006, AutomationDirect has been sponsoring Robotics programs in Forsyth County, GA schools. The initial goal was to have one Robotics team in each school. Today, there are more than 130 Robotics teams throughout Forsyth County with some schools sponsoring more than a dozen competition Robotics teams in their school. “Not only do these Robotics programs teach kids about STEM, they also make it fun and exciting. We’ve now seen kids go through these programs, major in a technical field in college, and then come back to the community with stronger skills that employers need. It’s great to see the program come full circle and show success,” said Folea.
One of students’ favorite moments of the Robotics Teams’ season has been when the teams were allowed to tour AutomationDirect’s warehouse. Folea explained: “Our warehouse is fully automated to help us fulfill customers’ orders as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It’s great fun to watch these Robotics Team kids when they see our robots at work – identifying the products in our warehouse and then preparing the products for shipping and outside delivery. They can experience firsthand how robots can help businesses – giving them a vision for a possible STEM career. Watching the robots in action is a huge crowd pleaser!”
As the need for a skilled STEM-related workforce grows, schools and businesses need to work together to ensure the training is available. Folea continued: “Not only should there be STEM classes offered, they should be interesting and attractive to students. There are many kids who don’t think they’re into science and technology but once they experience being part of a Robotics team, they realize that they can succeed in a STEM field and have a rewarding career.”
To learn more about Georgia FIRST Robotics, go to: www.gafirst.org
To learn more about AutomationDirect.com, go to: about.automationdirect.com