ASME Foundation to Sponsor High School FIRST Team

Dec 17, 2013

ASME and the ASME Foundation have had a long-standing relationship with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competitions. The competition connects practicing engineers and university faculty and students with high school students to build innovative robotic devices to compete in sophisticated mechanical challenges.

Through the years, ASME members have volunteered their time by serving as mentors to individual teams, as judges or referees at FIRST events across the country, and in other areas that promote the mission of FIRST — to inspire young people to be engineering, science and technology leaders.  

Each year, the ASME Foundation awards five scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each to graduating high school seniors whose FIRST experience has inspired an interest in pursuing a career in mechanical engineering.

The ASME Foundation is now taking this relationship to the next level by sponsoring and supporting an individual FIRST team. The Foundation chose a student team from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., as the team it will sponsor and support during the 2014 FIRST Competition cycle.

Dunbar High School, a public high school that was founded in 1865, has a curriculum that emphasizes a commitment to developing individual talent and strengths in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The school is so committed to STEM education that it has created a small, specialty school within their larger school community called the Dr. Charles Drew STEM & Pre-Engineering Academy. Dunbar's 2014 FIRST team will consist of students from the Academy.

Dunbar High School has been competing in FIRST for the past couple of years. During the 2013 regional competition, the Dunbar team made it to the last round undefeated only to have their robot malfunction midway through the competition. But now with the support of the ASME Foundation, the Dunbar Robotics Club has a renewed sense of purpose, and the students are thrilled to finally have access to the resources and guidance necessary to raise their level of competitiveness.

ASME members and student members in the Washington, D.C., area who would like to offer their expertise and work with the Dunbar High School team as mentors should contact Dora Nagy, development associate, ASME Foundation, at for more information. To learn more about the FIRST Robotics Competition, visit For more information about the ASME Foundation and its various initiatives, visit

- Dora Nagy, ASME Foundation


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