Honoring the Next Generation of FIRST® Innovators

Collins Aerospace is celebrating 10 years as a corporate sponsor of the annual FIRST® Global Innovation Awards, aimed at inspiring the next generation of innovators. Winners and finalists were virtually recognized at a ceremony held on June 30.

FIRST® is a global robotics community preparing youth for the future and the world's leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

How the Global Innovation Awards Work

This year’s competition challenged more than 1,200 teams from around the world to create innovative solutions that encouraged increased physical activity. Students from ages 9 to 18 competed for a spot in the ceremony, one of the world’s largest STEM celebrations.

Twenty finalist teams from each program - FIRST® LEGO League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics - participated in virtual workshops, mentor sessions, and competitions designed to showcase their research and inventions. Many of these sessions were led by Collins employees, including Joseph Engler, Collins’ chief artificial intelligence scientist.

“There is an entire world of young people that are like sponges when it comes to knowledge, innovation, and excitement,” Engler said. “We have to do everything we can to fan this excitement and spark a desire for learning.”

Celebrating Winning Futures

After a series of interviews and presentations, the top-scoring teams were invited to attend mentoring sessions with former astronaut and Collins Senior Technical Fellow Dan Burbank, to help students advance their futures as innovators.

Collins congratulates each winning team on their revolutionary solutions:

  • FIRST® Lego League Winner: FIGLOVE by Team “SESI Big Bang” of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • FIRST® Tech Challenge Winner: PATHWAYS Mobility Tool for the Visually Impaired by Team 14725 “Java the Hutts” of Fort Meyers, Florida
  • FIRST® Robotics Competition: Walk Assistant by Team 5553 “Robo’Lyon” of Rhone, France

For more information on how Collins Aerospace is creating and inspiring youth in STEM visit https://ww.collinsaerospace.com/who-we-are/redefining-futures.