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Live from the 2013 NCFIRST Robotics Competition

Over 50 teams are at the Regional Tournament at Dorton Arena, and 41 of them are from North Carolina! This year the robots have to fling a flying disc through a slot in the boards at the ends of the field and then climb a tower, one rung at a time. As in the past, each round starts with the robots in autonomous operation. All the teams arrived on Thursday with working robots and nearly all made it through inspection. Great accomplishment!

Meeting Woodie Flowers on Thursday evening: He is one of the co-founders of the FIRST Robotics Competition and professor emeritus at MIT. His being at this year’s event is a big deal for the kids. They really like him! Continue reading

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Worth Reading in Tech Transfer: Best of 2015

Online reading of technology transfer newsAs 2015 draws to a close, we take a look back at some of the news and commentary related to innovation management, technology transfer, intellectual property protection, entrepreneurship, and the future of STEM education that held our attention this past year. Plus a few of our favorite tweets! Happy New Year! Continue reading

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Keeping the STEM Pipeline Filled: Time for You to Help

DiversityInSTEM-LeakyPipelineYesterday Fuentek’s Laura Schoppe participated in a forum sponsored by Honda Jet in Greensboro, N.C., where the focus was on increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. During the panel, Laura presented her concept of a pipeline that is feeding the STEM workforce and the need to address the leaks in it. As shown in the graphic below, the pipeline has four phases: Engage (primary school), Recruit (secondary school), Retain (university), and Sustain (career). Each of these phases needs attention. Happily, Fuentek knows firsthand that there are many examples of great programs happening all along the pipeline. Continue reading

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Here Comes the NC FIRST 2014 Robotics Competition

NC-FIRST-logoI’m heading back to the Dorton Arena in Raleigh as a judge for the 5th annual NC FIRST Robotics Regional Competition. If you’re local, come see for yourself what these amazing high school students have built in only 6 weeks! If you’re not, check out the live webcast Friday and Saturday via the Yeti team’s (#3506) channel. The qualification matches are Friday from 9:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:45pm as well as on Saturday from 9:00am to noon. The final rounds are from 1:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday. Continue reading

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You’re the Inspiration: Talking to Kids about STEM

I’m interacting with lots of young people these days. Last week I went to Chewning Middle School in Durham, NC, to speak with students about my experiences growing up and working my way into a career in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field. And later this week I’m returning once again to judge the NC Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh. Continue reading

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Lots of Rookies Show Infectious Enthusiasm at NC FIRST!

Just as I expected, the games of the NC Regional FIRST Robotics competition this past Friday and Saturday were fun and exciting! I was lucky enough to be a judge again this year, meeting new kids and seeing many of … Continue reading

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Live from the 2011 NC FIRST Robotics Competition

Yesterday and today you’ll find me in Raleigh’s Dorton Arena for my second year as an inspector for the NC FIRST robotics competition. (Click here to read about my experiences last year.) As was the case last year, gracious professionalism … Continue reading

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NC FIRST Makes an Impact—and So Can You!

I’m getting really excited about the upcoming NC FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition, April 7-9 at Dorton Arena in Raleigh! The 36 teams from across the state are gearing up to participate in this … Continue reading

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Gearing up for NC FIRST!

I had a fantastic time as a judge in last year’s NC FIRST Robotics Competition. This year, I get to do it again!    Editor’s note: For the latest news about the next regional tournament, visit NC FIRST. Spring is … Continue reading

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Gracious Professionalism Triumphs at NC FIRST Robotic Competition

What a fantastic time I had being a judge at the 2010 North Carolina Regional Tournament of the FIRST Robotics Competition this past weekend! Not only was it a first-class event that was incredibly well run, but I was inspired … Continue reading

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