FIRST Robotics Returns to Wayne State, Inspires Young Engineers

Program introduces students to careers in science, engineering, math, medical technology and related fields.

DETROIT – Alex Traster, a first-year biomedical engineering student at Wayne State University, credits much of his educational aspirations to his involvement in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program. FIRST Robotics is an international event aimed at introducing students to careers in science, engineering, math, medical technology and related fields.

Traster participated in FIRST Robotics all four years he attended Jefferson High School in Monroe. He still assists his high school team and will be volunteering at the FIRST Robotics 2012 Detroit District competition on March 16-17 at Matthaei Physical Education Center at Wayne State University.

This year’s competition is based on a game called “Rebound Rumble” played by two competing alliances on a flat, 27×54-foot field. Each alliance consists of three robots that compete to score as many baskets as they can during an approximate two-minute match.

Traster says he’s eager to attend the event again. “Being from a small high school there weren’t many opportunities to take any classes other than core classes,” he says. “Without my involvement in the team I would not have considered an engineering major. Being involved helped me obtain scholarships and learn many different skills from leadership to professionalism.”

The public is welcome to join the FIRST Robotics event. Friday’s opening ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m., with games scheduled until 7 p.m. Saturday’s opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m., and the games will run through 5 p.m., followed by an awards program. For more information about FIRST Michigan and other competitions throughout the state, visit

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