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Troteks gear up for FIRST competition

ALBANY — The Dougherty High School Troteks are one of 900 high school FIRST® teams being sponsored this year by J.C. Penney.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a not-for-profit organization founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by engaging students in robotics competitions.

The Troteks is a rookie team that will spend six intense weeks designing and building an original robot for the FIRST Regional Competition at the Peachtree Regional March 15-17 in Duluth.

“Having our students involved in FIRST is not just about increasing educational opportunities in science and technology, but instilling well-rounded life capabilities such as self-confidence, communication and leadership,” Dougherty Assistant Principal Jesse Barnes said.

Schools, communities and government acknowledge the need to improve the country’s global economic competitiveness by increasing aptitudes in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among America’s youth.

Studies show that FIRST students are three times more likely to major in engineering in college, 10 times as likely to have an apprenticeship their freshman year, more than twice as likely to pursue a science or technology career, and nearly four times as likely to pursue a career in engineering.