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Team Drift 4091 Wins the Prestigious FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award

By Dr. Kulangara Jacob Johnson
Team Drift 4091 Wins the Prestigious FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award

(Photo source: Carol Morgan School)

In the world of robotics and engineering, winning the FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award is like clinching an Olympic gold in innovation and design. This year, the spotlight shines brightly on Team DRIFT 4091 from Carol Morgan School (CMS), as they claimed this impressive accolade at the 2024 FIRST World Championship held in Houston, Texas, United States of America this April. Their achievement in the World Championship is a testament to their skill and an outstanding victory because it marks a historic first for the CMS team and other teams in the Dominican Republic.

Understanding the FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award

According to the Penfield Robotics-Team Awards, the Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates a team's outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school and their community. Inspiring others to respect science and technology requires passion, knowledge, and commitment, and we recognize these qualities through this award. The winner of this award will have their 2025 FIRST Championship Registration fee sponsored by NASA. Criteria include the extent and inventiveness of the team's efforts to recruit students to engineering, the extent and effectiveness of the team's community outreach efforts, and the measurable success of those efforts.

(Photo source: Carol Morgan School)

Significance of the Victory and Recipe for Success

The FIRST Engineering Inspiration Award is more than just a trophy on a shelf. It represents Team Drift's ability to kindle a passion for engineering within our school and the broader community. It also showcases the magic of engineering and inspires a new generation to explore the boundless opportunities that STEM fields offer. For Team DRIFT, winning this award was not just about recognition. It was about demonstrating their dedication to innovation and outreach, which could make a difference in how young minds perceive science and technology. Team Drift's ingenious approach to advocating for STEM set them apart from the other teams. They did not just talk about robotics; they brought their passion to life through engaging short stories, interactive robotics kits, and dynamic school partnerships. Amidst their various projects, their eco-focused science, techonoology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives truly captured the judges' attention. Team DRIFT managed to seamlessly blend technology with eco-friendly initiatives, presenting solutions and raising awareness about environmental challenges through the perspective of robotics engineering and design.

Impact and Beyond

Team Drift's long list of achievements and awards since its inception in 2011 continues to inject renewed enthusiasm into our school's STEM culture. Students who previously might have passed by a robotics lab without a second thought will now be eager to roll up their sleeves and dive into the world of engineering. Beyond the school, Team DRIFT's efforts have sparked a broader conversation about the importance of environmental conservation and technological advancement by offering solutions that have caught the attention of local government officials, including at the vice-presidential level. The team has shown that young engineers can contribute to meaningful changes in the world with the right mix of curiosity and creativity.

Recognition and Reward

In recognition of their achievement, NASA will sponsor the team's registration fee for the 2025 FIRST Championship. This highlights the significance of the Engineering Inspiration Award and underlines the support and encouragement from leading STEM institutions for young innovators.

Looking Forward and Setting New Goals

With the 2024 FIRST World Championship under their belt, Team DRIFT 4091 is looking ahead. Their journey is far from over; it has just entered an exciting new chapter where they aim to further their outreach, deepen their research, and continue breaking new ground in STEM advocacy. Team Drift will take up the challenge and homework set by the founder of FIRST, Dean Kamen, to encourage more schools to engage and empower themselves through technological innovation and design to make the world a better place. Consequently, Team DRIFT's focus moving forward is to leverage their win to inspire even more students. They plan to expand their outreach programs, develop more inclusive and diverse initiatives, and ultimately show that the field of robotics and engineering is accessible to everyone.

Power of Teamwork and Vision

Behind the robotics kits, environmental projects, and accolades, Team DRIFT's story is fundamentally about teamwork, aspiration, and the relentless pursuit of a goal. Their journey underscores the limitless possibilities and opportunities when students are empowered to explore their passions and apply their skills. Team DRIFT's victory is a beacon of inspiration for STEM students everywhere. Furthermore, it showcases the impact of nurturing passion, creativity, and teamwork when we align closely with our school's Learning Innovation & Technology (LIT) department's vision and mission and are led by expert and experienced mentors. As we celebrate this achievement, we also look forward to the innovations and inspirations that future young engineers will bring to the world, following in the footsteps of Team DRIFT 4091. Their story is not just about winning an award but about sparking a global movement of young minds driven to explore, innovate, and ultimately make a difference in the world through engineering.


Dr. Kulangara Jacob Johnson is the Director of Innovation and Technology, Learning Innovation and Technology Team at Carol Morgan School in the Dominican Republic.

Carol Morgan School website:  


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