My Journey to FIRST World Championships in Detroit

Team 525 - Swartdogs at the FIRST World Championships

My initial exposure to FIRST robotics came when my son joined the Cedar Falls High School robotics team as a sophomore back in 2012. At that time, I thought it would be a fun little activity for him to be involved with. I really had no idea what being a part of a FIRST team meant. Boy, have I come a long way.

Now, seven years later, I do know what it means. As it turns out, there is nothing “little” about it. It is the most....

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DISTek Judges at FIRST Robotics Competition

Judge Shawn Pezley, Mentor Mike Weno, Judge Dillon Glissmann, & Judge Paul Mueller

Along with two other employees at DISTek, I received the privilege to be a judge at the Iowa regional FIRST Robotics Competition. The theme this year was steampunk and teams needed to work cooperatively to power a Victorian era steam powered airship.

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DISTek Supports FIRST Iowa Regionals

CFHS Robot w Logo
The CFHS team’s robot displaying the DISTek logo

Recently, the Cedar Valley hosted the first Iowa Regional for FIRST® Robotics Challenge (FRC®) on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa. This was an effort of many years by many who have seen the value of the FIRST programs. DISTek® has been a sponsor of the Cedar Falls High School Swartdogs (team 525) since 200? and sponsored many other FIRST teams financially and/or through coaching or mentoring.

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STEM Education through Lego

The Cedar Falls FLL Regional
FIRST LEGO League in action.

The Cedar Falls Regional Qualifier for FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and the Cedar Falls Regional Expo for Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) took place recently at Peet Junior High.  DISTek and its people are very active in supporting FIRST related teams.  There were at least three DISTekians who served as coaches or mentors for FLL teams and one DISTekian who was the coach for a Jr. FLL team.  DISTek was also a sponsor of multiple teams.

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FIRST Robotics team 525 – Cedar Falls HS at the Central Illinois Regional Competition

DISTek fully supports STEMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and the development of the next generation of engineers. Many DISTek employees have volunteered to work with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League programs at the elementary school level, and robotics programs at the secondary school level. The FIRST website describes the program:

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