WXYZ Editorial: FIRST world robotics championship is a big plus for Detroit

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 17:36:23-04

It’s the “Olympics of Robotics.”  We tip our hat to everyone involved in bringing the world championship to Michigan for the first time ever and making it a tremendous success! 

Fifteen thousand students, 700 teams, 40 countries, 640 robots and a $35 million boost to our local economy.  The best of science, technology, engineering, and math were on display.  It was competitive and exciting!  Cobo Center and Ford Field were perfect venues for this “sport of the mind” and preparing America’s future workforce.

Ironically, STEM education in Michigan has not received serious attention.  But that appears to be changing.  Governor Rick Snyder recently announced that Michigan has invested more than $12 million into robotics over the last 5 years.  Our state now has about 500 robotic teams, the most in the nation.  That talent paid off at the FIRST championship when two of the top world honors went to teams from Kalamazoo and Clarkston.  Bloomfield Hills High walked away with the Chairman’s Award.  It’s given to the team that best embodies the values of FIRST robotics.

Another big plus, students got exposed to top company executives, scouts and college scholarships like the way America’s top student athletes are recruited.  Creating the inventions of tomorrow begins with recognition and inspiration of our next generation of talent.

The FIRST world robotics championship is slated to be in Detroit two more years. Let’s continue to rollout the red carpet in the hope that it will become a long-term event of this region.

I’m Mike Murri, Vice President & General Manager

Broadcast: May 3 - 6, 2018