FIRST Robotics Competition at SVSU

Saginaw Valley State University hosted over 160 high school robotics teams from across Michigan this weekend. FIRST Robotics Competition ran from Thursday to Saturday. Teams competed head to head, but also alongside each other as they were paired up then placed into divisions to battle for the championship title. 4,000 visitors filled the Ryder Auditorium to watch the 5,000 students compete.

Shawn P. Patterson, the Vice President of Environmental Management and Safety at DTE Energy shared the benefits of this program and  the “full circle” as these students who have been through both programs [STEM and FIRST]  are now entering the workforce. Patterson said, “At DTE we are starting to see a lot of alums of this program be a part of our work force now, they give back because they see how important it is. When you think of the important jobs of the future, are in the STEM area. It is technology.”

Patterson said DTE will continue to support FIRST Robotics for years to come. “These kids are learning how to run small companies. It is not just the technology, its human resources, its terms of marketing and retaining a team, marketing to fundraise,” said Patterson. “They have to work with other teams, so there are a lot of statistics. They are learning how to work in companies and that helps the  vitality of the future.” Shawn P. Patterson, the Vice President of Environmental Management and Safety at DTE.”

FIRST Robotics Competition at SVSU (Photo by WSGW’s Christiana Malacara)

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist briefly spoke to the FIRST Robotics Competition students as well.  He thanked the family members of the students for their support saying, “The effort you put in will not only help today in competition but tomorrow in your career and in your education. Thank you for deciding to spend this time so you can be better right now to make Michigan better in the future. I want to specifically thank every parent for giving your kid the space and opportunity to be creative, to expand their imagination and to learn something new, a new process.” Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist

FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual event. To learn more about getting involved visit