As a global connected technologies leader, HARMAN counts some of the finest engineers among our leaders. During Engineers Week 2022, we’re celebrating all these great thinkers, designers, and innovators, and their commitment to helping make life more enjoyable, personalized, productive, and connected – by developing cutting-edge technologies and giving back to the communities in meaningful ways.
As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting STEM education and our local communities, our HARMAN team members in Novi, MI are sponsoring a youth robotics team called the Novi Robotitans (#11129) during the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international youth organization that works toward its mission to inspire young people ages 4-18 to be science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that encourage STEM skills, self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
The Novi Middle School Robotitans are no stranger to HARMAN, having been sponsored by the HARMAN Women’s Network, Novi Chapter, during the 2019-2020 season when they were a twelve-member all-girls team. Thanks to the strong support of its sponsors including HARMAN, and the tireless support of many mentors and volunteers, the Novi Middle School team has enjoyed significant success over the past several seasons of the FTC -- even earning a bid to the World Championship the last two seasons. Although both World Championship events were cancelled due to COVID, the team’s sprits are high and they are excited to be back this year for their sixth season competing in the FTC. HARMAN is proud to have two of its own employees mentoring this season’s team, as well.
This year’s FTC season, dubbed Freight Frenzy, officially kicked off on September 18, but the Robotitans stayed busy in the pre-season by organizing a summer event called Robots in the Park to promote STEM education in their local community. With plans to host it annually, Robots in the Park allowed the local community to learn about FIRST and its programs while also enjoying the chance to personally drive the team’s robot!
During a qualifying event in Novi, the Robotitans were part of the event’s winning alliance and also took home the Inspire Award, the FTC’s most prestigious award that is presented to the team that exemplifies the ‘challenge’ of the FIRST Tech Challenge program and is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs. The team realized additional success as a member of the winning alliance at another qualifying event in Pellston, MI before securing a second-place finish at the State Championship in December where they received an additional Inspire Award. Next, the Robotitans will go for the gold as one of four teams from Michigan headed to the World Championship tournament in Houston, TX this April.
On behalf of all of us at HARMAN, we’re wishing the Robotitans the best of luck at the competition this spring, and thank our team members in Novi for dedicating their time and expertise to future engineering leaders. We know the importance of being prepared, and are passionate about empowering future generations to take an interest in STEM, and remain committed to supporting the engineers of tomorrow across the globe. For more information on FIRST and different programs in your area, visit https://www.firstinspires.org/.