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Local FIRST Robotics competitors on the future of their field

Six people standing in front of an image of the Rochester skyline. From left to right: A man wearing a blue shirt, blue striped tie, and blue blazer; a male teenager wearing a black sweatshirt with a gold logo; a female teenager wearing red glasses and a red and blue tie dye shirt; a male teenager wearing a red and blue tie dye shirt; a female teenager wearing green glasses and a red and blue tie dye shirt; and a woman with long white hair wearing a red and blue tie dye shirt.
Evan Dawson
Aaron Schnittman, Myles Shetty, Tuolumne Gildea, James Preston, Aianna Kettavong, and Vicki Robertson on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Monday, March 11, 2024
    A smiling man with short dark hair wearing a blue button-down shirt and a grey blazer. He is holding a pair of eyeglasses. The word "Connections" appears on the left side of the photo in vertical letters.
    WXXI News

    NPR has called robotics "the high school sport that builds both robots and the next generation of engineers."

    RIT is hosting the annual FIRST Robotics Competition this week, bringing in students from more than 50 schools. FIRST was originally launched in 1989 in New Hampshire. Now it's a sprawling league – a sport of its own – with more than 83,000 students in 31 counties.

    We discuss what they do; how they do it; the impact of AI on their field; and the future these students see for themselves.

    Our guests:

    Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
    Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.