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Two students from Katy recently had the opportunity to introduce some students from India to the world of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics.

On a family vacation during winter break, Abhishek Routray, a 2015 graduate of the Cinco Ranch HS FIRST Robotics Competition Team 624, CRyptonite, and currently a Mechanical Engineering major at UT Austin, along with his brother, Anuraag, an eighth grade student on the Beck JH FIRST LEGO® League team, Naturally Beck, presented a robotics workshop to students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) school (http://www.jnvkhurdaorissa.org/ ), in Khordha, Orissa, on the east coast of India. Their mother, Chetana Samal, a Mentor and for both the CRyptonite and Naturally Beck robotics teams, is originally from this part of India.


A four-year veteran of the CRyptonite FIRST Robotics Competition team which ended the 2015 season ranked as one of the top teams in the world, Abhishek was used to describing the FIRST robotics concept of building and competing with robots in fun and exciting robotics programs to build engineering and technology skills and inspire young people in kindergarten through high school to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) leaders.


The workshop portion of the event ended with the room full of students intently watching a demo of the LEGO Mindstorms robot the group had created. They were hooked.


“These kids were listening intently,” Abhishek said. “They paid attention even well past their dinner time. I couldn’t help but think about how right Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, was when he thought that robotics could be made into a sport in order to excite young people about STEM like they get excited about football.”

After the robot demo, Abhishek and Anuraag presented a LEGO Mindstorms robot kit to the school – a gift from the CRyptonite robotics team.


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