Fluid Power Journal

2015 <i>FIRST</i> Championship

Students Bring their Custom-Built Robots and Team Spirit to the Largest Sport for the Mind™ Showdown


More than 18,000 students (ages 6 to 18) from around the globe traveled to St. Louis, Mo., from April 22-25, 2015 and put their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at various venues throughout the city. The four-day event came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of a roaring crowd of more than 40,000 when four teams from League City, Tex., and Davis, Clovis, and Palmdale, Calif., of the Newtown subdivision, won the coveted FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) Championship Winning Alliance. In this year’s recycling-themed game, Recycle Rush™, FRC teams took to the field, where competing alliances scored points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recycled by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

first4Among the participants, many U.S. and international FIRST student robotics teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, website design, teamwork, and partnerships.

More than 900 teams from 40 countries competed in the four FIRST programs: FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®, grades 4-8, ages 9-14 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; ages 9 to 16 outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico); FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®, grades 7-12, ages 12 to 18); and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®, grades 9-12, ages 14 to 18).  In addition to the high-energy robotics machines, 60 teams of 6 to 9 year olds participated in the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®, grades K-3) World Festival Expo.

The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial Scholarships were given to

  • Tyler Brinton, FRC Team 195, Cyber Knights, Plantsville, Conn.
  • Sheridan Rea, FRC Team 1388, Eagle Robotics, Grover Beach, Calif.
  • Noah Shields, FRC Team 1676, Pascack Pi-oneers, Ringwood, N.J.
  • Mayuri Viswanathan, FRC Team 2383, Ninjineers, Cooper City, Fla.


The FIRST Championship honored significant supporters of the FIRST mission:

  • John E. Abele, vice chair of FIRST and founding chairman, retired, Boston Scientific Corp., was the recipient of the Founder’s Award, presented each year by FIRST Founder Dean Kamen to one organization or individual for exceptional service in advancing the ideals and mission of FIRST.
  • Mark Lawrence, retired executive, CISCO, mentor of team 1816, The Green Machine, Edina, Minn., was the recipient of the Woodie Flowers Award, founded by Dr. William P. Murphy, Jr., to recognize an outstanding engineer or teacher who best demonstrates teaching excellence in teaching science, math, and creative design.
  • Richard Dale “Rick” Snyder, current governor of Michigan, was the recipient of the Make It Loud Award, given to the person who has contributed the most in increasing the awareness of FIRST to the general public.


2015 FIRST Championship Sponsors

Qualcomm is the 2015 FIRST Championship presenting sponsor. Championship program sponsors include Energizer Holdings, Inc.; FedEx Corp.; Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD); Google; Monsanto; NRG Energy; U.S. Air Force; and United Technologies Corp. (UTC). Other sponsors include Abbott Fund; Bechtel Corp.; The Boeing Corp.; BOSCH; The Coca-Cola Co.; Comcast NBCUniversal; The Dow Chemical Co.; Dr. William H. Danforth; Edward Jones Foundation; I Am Jane; INCOSE; Microsoft Corp.; Mouser Electronics; Nidec Motor Corp.; NVIDIA; Rockwell Automation; Scottrade Inc.; Southwest Airlines; SpaceX; St. Louis Regional Chamber; Trio Foundation of St. Louis; UL; Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Co.; and Wells Fargo Advisors.

A complete list of winners can be found at www.usfirst.org.

Upcoming FIRST Championships:

2016: St. Louis (April 27-30)

2017: Houston (April 19-22) and St. Louis (April 26-29)

2018: Houston (April 18-21) and Detroit (April 25-28)

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