Originally posted on WXYZ Detroit by Alexandra Bahou

(WXYZ) – The season for Michigan FIRST Robotics is well underway.

And while building robots is fun, the program can also be a game changer for students, inspiring them to pursue an interest in tech-related fields.

Elyse Lopez Turner of Detroit Labs and Joaquin Nuno-Whelan of General Motors stopped by Broadcast House this morning to talk about the teams they help mentor from the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation.

“FIRST Robotics is the best thing I’ve ever seen for teaching kids STEM activities…hands-on, quick and in six weeks, you go from not knowing anything about it to building a full working robot,” said Nuno-Whelan.

The pair showed off “Mechanical Puma 1” from the Western International High School team, the Mechanical Pumas.

“We did some pre-season education.. electrical, mechanical and also business, because, in a team, they are not only building a robot, they have to present professionally at competitions. So it’s been really inspiring to see students go from knowing nothing.. to building a full-on functioning robot, learning through play,” said Lopez Turner.

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