Houston, TX – Spectrum, the St. Agnes Academy/Strake Jesuit joint venture engineering robotics team, participated in the West Dallas FIRST Regional Competition March 30 and 31 and won the top prize, the Chairman's Award. Nationally, the competitions host 2,343 teams made up of 58,000+ high school students in grades 9-12. The event in Dallas is one of 52 regional competitions, winners advancing to the finals in St. Louis, Missouri, later this month.
FIRST means For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™ FRC’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The Chairman's Award is essentially the tournament MVP, celebrating robot performance, and overall team characteristics such as outreach, sportsmanship, and presentation.
FIRST has had an amazing impact on students who participate. They are:
• More than 3 times as likely to major specifically in engineering.
• Significantly more likely to expect to achieve a post graduate degree.
• Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
• More than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
St. Agnes Academy, located in southwest Houston, was founded in 1906 by the Dominican Sisters and is rooted in the Dominican tradition. St. Agnes Academy provides a Catholic college preparatory education that encourages young women to develop intellectual curiosity, to work for social justice and to act with integrity and compassion.