This is a big day for tens of thousands of students around the world, as it marks the kickoff for the 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition season. A “sport for the mind,” FIRST combines the fun and thrill of competition with the mental dexterity of science and technology.
FIRST is a community that brings students together and prepares them for the future through team-based robotics competitions and mentorship. Several Imagineers will once again serve as mentors this year, and we are proud to continue our support of this great organization since its inception more than 30 years ago.
“So many of the things they do with FIRST translate directly to what we do here at Walt Disney Imagineering,” says Imagineer Greg Johnson. “And not just the technical skills, but the interpersonal and teamwork skills that have direct parallels to how we complete projects.”
As you’ll see from this video, the experience is as rewarding for our Imagineers as it is for the participants!
Today, teams will learn the parameters for this year’s competition and begin brainstorming how to solve the challenge. They’ll build their robots over the course of about two months before entering a series of regional competitions. As teams advance through the regionals, their goal is to compete for the international FIRST Championship, set for April 19-22 in Houston, Texas.
This year, we’ll be chronicling the journey from kickoff to championship, so be sure to keep checking back with us here on the Disney Parks Blog, as well as the Walt Disney Imagineering YouTube and Instagram channels. We’re looking forward to seeing young people come together, work as a team and build on one another’s ideas to solve these challenges with creativity and ingenuity. In the end, Imagineers want to help each participant we work with to cultivate their talents for incredible opportunities in the future. Who knows … some of them may even become Imagineers someday and help tell Disney stories in the future.
At Walt Disney Imagineering, we’re constantly pushing boundaries to invent new things, solve new challenges and inspire others. As Imagineers volunteer to help mentor teams and lend their expertise, Imagineer Jon Georges adds, “This is an incredible opportunity to reach beyond Imagineering and out into the community and inspire the next generation.”
Good luck to all this year’s teams!