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Military Kids Report! From the USS Midway and the FIRST Program

Military kids around the WORLD are reporting for Chameleon Kids and MILITARY KIDS’ LIFE magazine on the exciting adventures they are finding as the explore the interesting places military life takes them!

Our reporters took a peek inside the FIRST Program which recently held an event on the USS Midway in San Diego, California!

What is the FIRST Program?

(the technical explanation —->

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.  —–> )

BUT what did our reporters and photographers find at the FIRST event on the USS Midway?

…. a LOT of FUN!

Take a Look Inside: FIRST at the USS Midway

Reporters: Cassandra, age 11 and Chloe, age 12

Photographers: Anna, age 12 and Joshua, age 12


| Report by Cassandra, military kid reporter |

  • Approximately 200 guests attended the FIRST Robotics event on the famous USS Midway on Tuesday, November 15.
  • FIRST stands for, For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology. It is a volunteer-driven organization that was founded by the inventor Dean Kamen, best known for inventing the Segway. The purpose of FIRST is to inspire young people to become leaders & innovators in science and technology. Mr Kamen thinks the FIRST Robotics Competition is his best idea yet!
  • The event was sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and Qualcomm.
  • This event was made up of teams from the various FIRST programs which included Lego League, Lego League Jr, Tech Challenge & Robotics competions. The teams were on hand to show demonstrations of their robotics project to the guests.
Anna F., photo journalist, and Dennis Spurr from the USS Midway Museum Education Department (c) 2016 Anna F.

Anna F., photo journalist, and Dennis Spurr from the USS Midway Museum Education Department (c) 2016 Anna F.

The Cool People I met and Stuff I learned:

I was lucky enough to get the chance to drive around one of the robots from the “Holy Cows” team. They created a robot that can fire a “boulder” (lightweight ball) into a castle. Udeema S., age 16 from the team told me that she loved the social part of the robotics program and the overall fun she has working with technology.

Catapult Launching (c) 2016 Joshua T.

Catapult Launching (c) 2016 Joshua T.

Dora P. was one of the participants. She is 13 and is in the 8th grade at Valley Middle School in California. She started robotics in the 3rd grade. I asked her, “What is your favorite part of robotics and being on a team?” Dora answered, “My favorite part is hanging out with other lovers of robotics and getting to stay positive while being part of a team. I also like tutoring younger inventors.”

From team “Animal Allies,” I asked Kian G., age 12 what he enjoyed about his team and he said, “Just having fun with my teammates and making new friends.”

Cassandra R., reporters, interviewing Erica Fessia from Qualcomm.

Cassandra R. and Chloe G., reporters, interviewing Erica Fessia from Qualcomm.

The “Animal Allies” team project is a filtering system , much like an automatic air freshener. They are trying to save the Mexican Grey Wolf from extinction. Their system releases a scent during the mating season of the wolves , encouraging the wolves to come together and mate. Over the last couple of years the number of wolves has gone from 13 to 42, so their project is making great progress.

It was amazing to see that these kids from middle school to high school can create such amazing things using their minds.

Meeting Dean Kamen (c) 2016 Joshua Y.

Meeting Dean Kamen (c) 2016 Joshua Y.

Towards the end of the event Dean Kamen (inventor of the SEGWAY!) gave a speech about his program. He mentioned that in today’s world, when most 12 to 13 years olds start to think about a famous career, they think about being a professional athlete or being an actor in Hollywood. He wants kids to think that not just people who play a sport or have a singing or acting career can be famous. Children should be able to think that scientists can be famous too! He wants his program to help make that change in children’s thinking.

The evening concluded with Kamen thanking Qualcomm and Booze Allen Hamilton for their sponsorship. Without the support and sponsorship from companies like them , the FIRST program would not have grown to almost 44,000 teams!

The evening was a fun, hands-on event, and it made me think more about science and technology and some of the ideas I might be able to create, and become famous for (!)


Cover Shot: Reporters and Photographers from Military Kids Report! pose on the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego, California. (c) 2016 Anna F.

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Chameleon Kids would like to thank our military kid reporters and photographers, Booz Allen Hamilton for arranging their tour and interviews, plus FIRST for giving us access to this awesome event.

“The average military child goes to as many as eight different schools, and as a result, military children tend to lack access to consistent STEM education experiences that move with them,” said Jennifer Brooks, a Booz Allen vice president who leads the firm’s business supporting Navy clients in San Diego. “FIRST is uniquely positioned to engage our military families and children globally. Booz Allen has been a proud supporter of FIRST since 2004, and we look forward to working with FIRST to increase access to this life changing experience—life changing for kids, their families, and the volunteers who get involved.”

To LEARN MORE about FIRST visit:

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