What does the word “transportation” bring to mind? Cars, planes, and trains, certainly. But modes of transportation are only part of the story. Transportation is a wide-ranging, critical industry. It affects daily life for everyone on Earth, and the future of transportation innovation is limitless. New technologies help us deliver life-altering medicine and treatment to hard-to-reach communities. Food, water, and other essentials now reach nearly every corner of the globe. Electric vehicles and unmanned air cargo vehicles fuel future possibilities.
To continue to drive innovation in the transportation industry, it’s essential to foster a strong, diverse workforce that is prepared to tackle significant challenges. One particular community, helmed by the nonprofit FIRST®, is leading the charge, empowering hundreds of thousands of students worldwide to tackle the world’s most pressing issues, including those related to how we transport cargo, people, and information around the world.
FIRST is a global organization that fosters young people’s love of science and technology through exciting hands-on, mentor-based robotics programs. In 2021-2022, FIRST will challenge students in grades PreK through 12 in more than 100 countries to solve transportation challenges across data enablement, fleet logistics, consumer travel, and more. Participants will compete in transportation-themed, game-like robotics challenges that hone STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) smarts, teamwork, and communication skills.
“Transportation is an absolutely critical piece of our lives,” he continues, “and we have to make it better, safer, more available to everybody while expanding its capability. Today’s kids who embrace technology will continue to raise the bar and make better forms of transportation that benefit us all.”
As we emerge from the pandemic and new challenges arise that disrupt our global transportation system – such as natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and aging infrastructure – the need for qualified STEM talent has never been more pressing.
But today’s challenges are only the beginning for society’s young inventors, and the business community is already paying attention. Industry-leading organizations such as Amazon, Boeing, FedEx, Qualcomm Incorporated, Raytheon Technologies, The Walt Disney Company, and more are supporting programs like FIRST that give students valuable hands-on experience while building the resilience and communication skills they’ll need to innovate in their professional careers.
Learn more about FIRST, its 2021-2022 robotics season, and ways to get your students involved or how to become a team mentor yourself.
To learn more about how leaders in the transportation industry are tackling the world’s most pressing challenges and innovating for the future, watch the inspiring video above.