UL V.P. Teaches Safety Best Practices
to Local FIRST Robotics Team
Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Senior Vice President, Global Field Operations, Stephen D. Hewson, visited recently with Geneva [IL] High School’s FIRST Robotics Team (the Robovikes) at one of the manufacturing facilities of The Label Printers – the Robovikes principal sponsor and a major supplier of anti-counterfeiting and standard labels to UL.
Hewson spoke to the Robovikes about safety and UL’s safety mission and programming. The Robovikes were familiar with UL through the FIRST program – since 2006 UL has sponsored the robotics program’s Industrial Safety Award, expanding its role in 2011 to the official Safety Alliance partner for FIRST. All of the veteran Robovikes were familiar with the guys with the “green shirts” who are all over the Midwest Regional Competition, reminding students of safety best practices. Hewson, who is an electrical engineer by training, also spent time talking with the Robovikes about their plans beyond high school.
In this special session with Hewson, the students also learned about UL’s “Safety Smart®” program and were encouraged to use it to mentor younger children for whom the program was developed. FIRST’s web site explains, “With [the…] addition [of the Safety Smart program], UL provides FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) students with the opportunity to help teach elementary-aged children how to make more informed safety choices by acting as UL Safety Smart® Ambassadors. UL’s Safety Smart program is an initiative aimed at improving a child’s awareness and understanding of safety, health, and well-being. As Safety Smart Ambassadors, FRC students will engage and excite children about being safety conscious in fun, creative, and interactive ways.”
More about the FIRST safety program can be found at: http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/nljun11/UL.
About THE LABEL PRINTERS:
The Label Printers, Aurora, IL, started in business in 1967, manufacturing simple label constructions in a 1,000 square foot space, with 1 employee, serving the local Chicago market.
Today, the company has evolved into one of the 100 largest converters in the United States. The Label Printers owns and operates two facilities in Aurora, Illinois, manufacturing and distributing labels and packaging products to thousands of customers in 25 countries around the world. The company’s packaging products are certified to ISO 9001 standards, and their quality is backed up by their 99.6% Quality Acceptance Rating.
The Label Printers is a member of NASPO (North American Security Products Organization), IACC (International Anticounterfeiting Coalitipm), CACP (Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy), TLMI (Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute) and the FTA (Flexographic Technical Association).
About Underwriters Laboratories:
Underwriters Laboratories® is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing standards for safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 64 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 98 countries.
About Geneva High School (Community Unit School District 304)
Geneva Community High School is over 130 years old and has over 1,800 students, 150 faculty members, and offers more than 150 courses in eleven academic areas. Students may also enroll in one of thirty-seven academic courses in the Fox Valley Career Center curriculum. Advanced placement and honors courses are offered in all academic areas supported by the expansion of our Acceleration and Enrichment program.
While maintaining an outstanding tradition of excellence in education, athletic and extracurricular programs, our school provides a wide variety of community service learning experiences throughout Geneva and the Fox Valley. Our experienced administrative team and dedicated staff, along with the support of the community of Geneva, offer one of the finest educational opportunities available throughout the state of Illinois.
About the FIRST Robotics Competition:
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps students discover the excitement of science, engineering, and technology and the rewards a career in STEM can bring. In 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition began with 28 teams and a single 14-by-14-foot playing field in a New Hampshire high school gym. This season more than 2,300 teams, comprised of over 58,000 high school students (grades 9 – 12), will participate. Fifty-two regional events, 1 State Championship, 1 Regional Championship, and 14 District Competitions will lead up to the 2012 FIRST Championship in St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome, April 25 – 28.
FIRST programs are spearheaded by more than 100,000 dedicated volunteers worldwide, most of them professional engineers and scientists who mentor the next generation of innovators. The program is supported by a network of more than 3,500 Sponsors, including corporations, educational and professional institutions, and individuals.
Participating students are eligible to apply for nearly $12 million in scholarships offered by leading universities, colleges, and companies.
"The Varsity Sport for the Mind," FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to "real-world engineering" as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
Students get to:
Learn from professional engineers
Build and compete with a robot of their own design
Learn and use sophisticated software and hardware
Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
Earn a place in the World Championship
Qualify for nearly $14.8 million in college scholarships
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., 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. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds.
2011 marked the 20th season of the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST has grown from 1 event to nearly 60 and from 28 teams to over 2000. Much has changed over the first twenty seasons…but our key goals remain the same; our commitment to Gracious Professionalism™, our emphasis on learning, helping one another and inspiring careers in math, science, engineering and technology.
Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to