FIRST® team # 4402 at the South Central Career Center is one of 900 high school teams being sponsored this year by Jcpenney. FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology by engaging students in innovative robotics competitions. The SCCC CONNECTORS is a rookie team that spent six intense weeks designing and building an original robot for the FIRST Regional Competition scheduled for St. Louis.
"Having our students involved in FIRST is not just about increasing educational opportunities in science and technology; but instilling well-rounded life capabilities such as self-confidence, communication and leadership," said Brenda Smith, Director South Central Career Center. "Jcpenney's sponsorship represents a commitment to building the future leaders of tomorrow by making youth participation in FIRST possible."
Jcpenney's sponsorship of 900 FIRST teams this season reinforces the company's philanthropic goal to introduce FIRST to more schools and communities throughout the U.S. and encourage greater participation among minority and female students. Jcpenney's legacy of working with national youth organizations through its signature charity, Jcpenney afterschool, helps make it possible for more students to become involved in life-enriching learning opportunities during the after school hours.
Schools, communities and government acknowledge the need to improve the country's global economic competitiveness by increasing aptitudes in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among America's youth. Studies show that FIRST students are three times more likely to major in engineering in college, 10 times as likely to have an apprenticeship their freshman year, more than twice as likely to pursue a science or technology career, and nearly four times as likely to pursue a career in engineering.