Recently Caterpillar sponsored FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League team, The Learning Machine (TLM), competed in and won the Illinois State Championship. The team was recorded as having the highest scoring Robot in all of Illinois. Amongst the awards received at the event were: Champion’s Award winner, 1st place Performance Award, and Global Innovation Nomination Award. The next step for the team will be competing for a World Championship title in the World Festival in April.
To celebrate their accomplishment and share their innovations with others the TLM team, which is made up of area sixth and seventh grade students, spent the day at a local Caterpillar Facility in Peoria IL. During their time at Caterpillar they were able to partake in an exclusive tour to learn more about 3D printing, the innovation lab, virtual reality and how those technologies impact our products. Additionally the students spent time demoing their award winning robots to many interested and eager Caterpillar employees.
Saffana, a member of team TLM for four years, said she “enjoys being a part of FIRST because it provides her an ability to interact with others, learn new things, and create solutions to existing problems.”
Caterpillar began supporting FIRST nearly 15 years ago, and today, many of the current Caterpillar workforce are alumni of the FIRST program. “Through the company’s dedication to building a STEM pipeline, Caterpillar has a long history of supporting FIRST by providing team sponsorships and valuable mentorship from employee volunteers,” said FIRST President Donald E. Bossi. In fact, many of the members of the TLM championship team are children of Caterpillar employees and mentors.
Caterpillar sponsors nearly 200 FIRST teams worldwide and announced a strategic partnership with FIRST in 2018. “As an engineer, I think it’s critical that we develop interest in and excitement about science and technology at early ages. As a company Caterpillar has a vested interest in building a strong pipeline of future innovators, said Vice President Tom Bluth.
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