For nearly a century, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been the official kick-off to the holiday season.
Every year, this Emmy Award-winning tradition is seen by more than
3.5 million people in New York and
50 million people at home, tuned in to see giant balloons, floats and now — robots.
Robots are no longer a sci-fi fantasy in recent years. They have become commonplace in many aspects of life, from cleaning floors to teaching in the classroom. Macy’s recognizes the importance and relevance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to its customers.
Moreover, the company is sensitive to the need for STEM-workforce development, and understands that the key to expanding these fields is to inspire young people to take an interest in them.
“We are extremely excited and thankful for this unique opportunity that Macy’s has given us,” said FIRST founder, Dean Kamen.
“Tuning into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an American tradition, and this year the first thing people will see in the parade is the robotics teams. Thanks to Macy’s, we have the chance to pique the curiosity of millions of young people, as well as potential mentors, sponsors, and volunteers.”
San Diego FIRST Robotics Team 1538, The Holy Cows, proudly represented FIRST and its progression of programs with this trailblazing appearance, and traveled across the country to New York City to lead the historic parade.
Their team’s director of engineering, Danielle Patriarco, said, “I am excited that FIRST is getting recognized on a larger scale and I am honored to be able to be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The Holy Cows were chosen to help kick off the parade because they won FIRST’s most prestigious honor, the Chairman’s Award, at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis earlier this year. This award is given to the team that best demonstrates the greatest commitment to spreading passion about science and technology, best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Their Chairman’s Award video demonstrates how they’ve worked toward this goal and their 2013 season wrap-up video shows highlights from the competitions.