Living Classrooms Fresh Start students to participate in FIRST Robotics Competition

March 13, 2015

Washington, DC– Living Classrooms’ Fresh Start program participants are competing in the Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, which combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, as the Fresh T.E.C.H.s (Technology, Engineering, Carpentry and Higher learning) Team 4242. The competition will take place from March 26th – March 28th at George Mason University Patriot Center. Wal-Mart is generously sponsoring Team 4242.

With the help of mentors from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Fresh T.E.C.H.s worked to create their robot entry for the competition. Throughout the event, their robot will be challenged alongside other robot entries in a series of evaluations and the winner will then compete in the national championship. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time constraints, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It�s as close to real world engineering as a student can get.

Living Classrooms Fresh Start program is a 40-week job skills training program that serves out-of-school youth, ages 16-19. The program uses metal work and carpentry as a medium to teach reading, writing, math, history, and science. Students receive classroom instruction and one-on-one tutoring. The curriculum is designed to increase self-reliance, teach problem solving and academic skills, and demonstrate how academic skills and knowledge are used in a practical work environment.

Living Classrooms- Fresh Start program serves youth in the juvenile justice system. Our students come from underserved communities affected by high poverty rates, crime, and struggling schools. These students face the challenges of being raised in low-income families, have a history of arrests, experience with violence and substance abuse, academically function below average, and have patterns of failure within schools and court-ordered programs. In the FIRST Robotics competition, Fresh Start students compete against teams from some of the area-s top private and public schools and are the only non-traditional team to compete.

FIRST students are:
-More than 3 times likely to major specifically in engineering.
-Roughly 10 times as likely to have had an apprenticeship, internship, or co-op job in their freshman year of college.
-Significantly more likely to expect to pursue a career in science and technology.
-Nearly 4 times as likely to expect to pursue a career specifically in engineering.
-More than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.