YSEA Corner: Alliance with FIRST Robotics

Joseph Cerro ‘89, Career HS Principal Michael Ceraso, and James Lockman ‘89 at the announcement of the YSEA-FIRST Robotics alliance. Photo courtesy of James Lockman.

On December 5, 2011, YSEA President Joseph Cerro ‘89 formally announced an alliance between the Yale Science & Engineering Association, Inc. (YSEA) and FIRST Robotics. The alliance will promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at schools around the country through FIRST Robotics competitions. YSEA joins the MIT Alumni Association as the only alumni associations that have a relationship with FIRST. The Alliance will also raise awareness of Science and Engineering programs at Yale and allow us to attract the cream of the crop from today’s emerging STEM stars.

The announcement was made at Career High School in New Haven, one of the schools with FIRST Robotics programs supported by Yale Engineering faculty and students. On hand were YSEA Board members, Yale students, Yale faculty and administrators, students from local FIRST Robotics Challenge and FIRST Tech Challenge teams, and FIRST representatives. A month later, the FIRST Robotics Challenge game for 2012, Rebound Rumble, was announced.

At the kickoff on January 7, 2012, Yale appeared prominently as the featured college Engineering program in a pre-game video about FIRST Scholarship Programs. In addition, Yale Deputy Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science Dr. Vincent Wilczynski, who sits on FIRST’s Executive Advisory Board, made an appearance to give a “Boola Boola” cheer to the thousands of people watching worldwide. Rebound Rumble promises to be a fast-paced, exciting game with coopertition points even more important than ever.

In support of the alliance, YSEA has posted a survey to ask alums about their experience with FIRST: One of the terms of the alliance is that YSEA provide volunteers at FIRST events and as mentors for FIRST teams. Any alumni involvement is important, so please let YSEA know about yours.