Pharr, Texas – FIRST-RGV hosted a small summer camp that specifically inspire those in grades 4-8 at the City of Pharr Robotics Lab. This facility is provided to FIRST-RGV to hold classes, trainings and to serve as the base of operations for the regional not for profit operations of this science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program.
Students that participated in this special summer camp had a chance to work directly with the professionals that volunteer their time or are employed in the areas of STEM. These professionals are also the ones that bring the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) the FIRST Robotics programs for the past three years.
“These programs are not about pushing through big numbers or making money… Its about making sure we do the best job we can to promote STEM.” said Jason Arms, FIRST-RGVs chief executive officer. “A lot of people in the valley are having camps, but we pride ourselves on a quality product that is cost effective to parents and school districts”, he added.
FIRST-RGV is searching for grants that will allow them to offset the costs of expanding the various programs they offer. This would allow more students to attend without having an out of pocket expense.
Students as far away as Roma, Texas and Weslaco, Texas came to Pharr for the FIRST Lego League (FLL) camp that utilizes the official FIRST Animal Allies game. “Only here at our camps, can you experience the real FIRST experience”, said Arms. “We do much more than just teach robotics…. FIRST is a way of life. We encourage gracious professionalism ™ and make sure the students see the bigger picture in the supply chain. Business, marketing and proper planning is also added to our programs”, he added.
FIRST-RGV plans to partner with the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association to bring a special STEMprogram to students that have Type I or Type II diabetes in July, 2017. Plans are underway to also partner with the McAllen ELKS Lodge and the Valley Nature Center in Weslaco, Texas that both support STEM programs in the RGV.
For those looking for a quality, official FIRST off season program, please check their events page. Students, teachers and school administrators are reminded that the registration for the competition season is open for all FIRST programs through the end of August, 2017.