FIRST® LEGO® League Team

Mastercam Sponsors Local FIRST® LEGO® League Team

Founded in 1989 by inventor, Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) works to inspire youth in science, engineering, and technology. In FIRST, teams of students in K-12 compete in FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, or FIRST Robotics. Each year, students are given a theme and a specific challenge.

This fall, CNC Software supported a local Connecticut FIRST LEGO League team, “Raiders of the Lost Rivets” who took first place in the Regional Competition. The CNC Software donation allowed the team, who has two daughters of CNC staff as members, to purchase a second kit, allowing all of the children on the team opportunities to work with the materials and participate in programming.

This year’s theme was “Trash Trek” and participants were tasked with finding a way to deal with waste by either recycling or reusing garbage. The Raiders of the Lost Rivets created a Cell Phone Collector. In their design, consumers would pay a deposit when they purchased a cell phone and once they were finished with it, they would bring it to the collector and receive cash back, incentivizing cell phone recycling since they contain materials that can and should be reused and hazardous materials which should be handled properly.

Prior to the Regional Competition, the team presented their idea to the Vernon Town Council, State Senator Tony Guglielmo, and State Representative Claire Janowski. Everyone was impressed with the research and thoroughness of the team, including the actual demonstration of the Cell Phone Collector.

After winning Regionals in November, the team went on to compete at the State competition in Stamford on December 5. Although they didn’t win any additional awards, their Cell Phone Collector idea is being researched in the Connecticut State Senate and the team may be called to testify in support of a bill that would be necessary for cell phone collection.

Saturday, January 9 is the competition kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition. It will be broadcast starting at 10:30 a.m. EST, streaming at After this kickoff, teams will have just six weeks to create their robots from design through testing.
Learn more about FIRST and its mission at

Want to Get Involved?
Volunteer opportunities are available for any level of commitment from coaching a team through a season to a few hours helping to run a local competition. Go here to learn more:
Or to donate

Software Grants Available for FIRST Robotics Teams
The FIRST Robotics Competition is for students in grades 9-12. On a regular basis, CNC Software grants software to these teams to help them build their robots. If you are part of a FIRST Robotics team interested in receiving Mastercam software to help build your robot, contact us at

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