Knoxville, Tenn. Team Honored for Building Digital Awareness of FIRST & STEM Education
PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 3, 2016) – FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Comcast NBCUniversal today announced that the Knoxville Tenn.-based “L&N STEMpunks” (FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 3966) have won the 2016 Media & Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal. This award recognizes a FIRST team that creates a robust digital media experience and marketing strategy to aid their team in fundraising and in sharing the FIRST mission of encouraging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with others.
The L&N STEMpunks topped this year’s group of highly competitive and creative entrants by developing a robust, unified digital campaign, tied together with a striking steampunk visual theme. The STEMpunks digital portfolio includes well-curated social media handles, and is built around an attractive, intuitive home page that highlights the team’s progress in the FIRST® Robotics Competition, as well as its work to advance STEM learning in its community.
FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. FIRST annually hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3.
“The L&N STEMpunks truly embody the spirit of the Media & Technology Innovation Award,” said John Schanz, Executive Vice President and Chief Network Officer, Comcast Cable. “Beyond rising to the challenge of competing in one of the most rigorous competition yet, these young technologists built a cohesive, powerful digital portfolio that advances not just their efforts as a team, but the importance of STEM education and the value of the FIRST community. We are proud to honor these remarkable technologists and to continue our engagement with FIRST as it works to shape the skilled technology workforce that will power the next generation.”
“FIRST joins Comcast NBCUniversal in applauding the work of the L&N STEMpunks to evangelize the work of their team and the power of robotics to advance STEM learning,” said FIRST President, Donald E. Bossi. “While FIRST may be most known for engineering and robotics, the Media and Technology Innovation Award demonstrates yet another important way in which FIRST helps to develop critical 21st century skills.”
The Media & Technology Innovation Award, created in 2013 and sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, attracted more than 120 submissions this year. The teams were judged on criteria in the categories of strategy, overall experience, visual design, navigation, content, functionality and engagement. The L&N STEMpunks were selected for their clean and visually stunning website, which features intuitive navigation and a rich trove of information about the team, FIRST and STEM community outreach. The team’s visual theme is instantly recognizable, and interwoven throughout its multiple social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr.
Comcast NBCUniversal has supported FIRST for many years through the sponsorship and mentorship of teams across the United States. In 2016, Comcast NBCUniversal sponsored and mentored 39 FIRST teams nationwide, 10 of which participated at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis last week.
To learn more about the FIRST Robotics Competition or the Media & Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal visit http://www.firstinspires.org .