Fifty Percent of America’s Best High Schools Participate in the FIRST® Robotics Competition

MANCHESTER, N.H. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 31, 2012 — Half of the top 10 high schools featured in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 National Rankings of Best High Schools participate in FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to get kids excited about science and technology.

The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of high-school students are challenged to build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

FIRST has driven my desire to go into the workforce,” said Nathan Hughes, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and captain of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3455. “Instead of sitting in the classroom, I’m working with my hands. Being on the FIRST team at Thomas Jefferson has helped me get acquainted with technologies and gather experience that I’m going to take with me into college and beyond.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, data supporting the rankings are based on principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

“As a founder of one of these teams, I think FIRST contributes to a school being so good because it provides opportunities to explore and apply classroom skills to real-world problems and allows the students to innovate,” said Mark Hannum, a longtime FIRST team mentor.

Top Ten U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools that Participate in FIRST


High School Name       Location       FIRST Team Name       FIRST Team Number
BASIS Tucson       Tucson, Ariz.       The Bit Buckets       FRC Team 4183
International Academy       Bloomfield Hills, Mich.       Las Guerillas       FRC Team 469
International School       Bellevue, Wash.       Titan Robotics       FRC Team 492
Oxford Academy       Cypress, Calif.       RobEn       FRC Team 4079

Thomas Jefferson High School for
Science & Technology

      Alexandria, Va.       Carpe Robotum       FRC Team 3455

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