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FIRST Robotics Competitions Feature Innovation, Excitement...and Buttons!

Every now and again we like to step a little bit outside of our button-centric conversation to highlight a person or organization doing something that we strongly endorse. FIRST fits this criteria to a T, and we highlight this great organization today. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by a man named Dean Kamen and for the last 20+ years has been inspiring kids to expand their science and technology horizons. To facilitate this, FIRST holds a yearly Robotics Competition, which it describes as "the varsity sport for the mind", that allows the brightest of the bright to compete against each other to create robots that perform specified activities. There are FIRST Robotics Competitions all over the United States and the regional winners ultimately face off in national competitions. Kids are awarded scholarship money, get the opportunity to learn from experts, and also have non-science/tech responsibilities like coming up with a team brand. And, wouldn't you know it, that's where buttons come into play! The kids create logos for their teams and then make buttons with the logos on them. Typically, teams trade buttons in a show of overall camaraderie amongst the participants and as a way to promote their team and robot. This picture, from a 2003 FIRST Robotics Competition in Philadelphia, shows one participant who really got into the button exchanging idea...and we, of course, applaud him loudly: Look at those beautiful pinback buttons! We salute FIRST and wish all of the participants in this and future years' Robotic Competitions the best of luck. Follow the link for more information about FIRST and its Robotics Competitions. For more stories like these, and to learn more about the button making, follow us on Twitter or bop on over to the ABM main website. Brighid Brown - Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM

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