Since 2012, Novelis has been an international partner of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), in support of developing future talent for STEM careers. And from April 27-30, five Novelis-sponsored teams – one from Switzerland, three from the U.S. and one from Brazil – competed in the FIRST Global Championship in St. Louis.
FIRST is dedicated to inspiring students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through robotics – a subject very important to Novelis. By supporting FIRST engineering competitions, mentoring students, donating aluminum and providing financial assistance to more than 15 robotics teams across our regions, Novelis is investing in the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers.
The FIRST Robotics Competitions are considered the ultimate sport of the mind. Teams of 20+ students work together with their mentors to create functioning industrial-sized robots while remaining within budget during the six-week build time. The entire process prepares students for real-life business challenges.
This year, Novelis is sponsoring two teams of students from Brazil by providing mentorship and financial resources so the teams can travel and learn by competing in FIRST regional competitions.
“Not only do the students learn important engineering concepts, they also they learn teamwork, how to effectively communicate, how to draft and execute a business plan with finite time and little resources, and above all, how to work safely,” said Ashley Gravlee, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Novelis. “Simply put, it is a crash course in the entrepreneurial and team-centric culture we try to foster at Novelis.”
Participation in FIRST is a meaningful step toward generating excitement about STEM education and future STEM careers. In fact, these students who participate in FIRST become exponentially more interested in school, math and science classes and college.
“Novelis wants to show young people the exciting careers awaiting them in manufacturing and STEM-related fields,” Ashley said. “If we can show our youth the opportunities and projects companies like Novelis are a part of, we hope to foster a greater passion for pursuing STEM-related jobs.”