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Ford-Sponsored Team Competes for FIRST Championship in Detroit This Week

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Ford Mentor with Goon Squad FIRST Robotics

This week marks the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Championship, where more than 30 teams sponsored by Ford will compete to see which students have created the best robot.

The FIRST Robotics Competition gives high school teams from around the globe six weeks to design, develop, and build their own robot. The final products are then put to the test in a competition against one another that sees the most capable robot crowned champion. Ford’s sponsorship of Detroit-based teams is part of its ongoing effort to encourage young people to pursue activities and education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

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“Ford is highly dedicated to promoting STEAM education through programs and initiatives around the world,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, research and advanced engineering, chief technology officer and the company’s executive champion of STEAM. “FIRST Robotics is a key platform for STEAM opportunities—connecting Ford with bright students who are passionate about science and technology.”

Ford Mentor with Goon Squad FIRST Robotics

One of the teams heading to this week’s championship is Good Squad, captained by Scott Hall—not the professional wrestler—and mentored by Ford IT operations supervisor Randy Strawsine. In total, Ford sponsored 86 teams this year, which required the mentorship and assistance of more than 200 Ford engineers and IT experts.

“As mentors, we provide STEAM guidance for students to develop their technical skills,” said Strawsine. “Not only that, we help them develop personally by getting them to face adversity, deal with high-stress situations, and communicate with a diverse group of teammates.”

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