First Friends
The internationally recognized FIRSTŪ Robotics Competition aligns with ARA to support the future generation of engineers.
The Automotive Recyclers Association Educational Foundation (ARAEF) is very proud to partner with the FIRST® Robotics Competition, and they need your help. This opportunity provides the Automotive Recycling community a chance to promote the industry to the next generation of engineers, and gain national attention in the process for the industry. This effort goes in hand with ARA’s increased efforts to educate the public about automotive recycling and green recycled parts.

“This alliance is important because it shows recycling at its best,” says Jeff Kantor, ARA Member and Owner of Car World, Candia NH, who initiated the contact between ARA and FIRST®. “When you can get young kids who show an interest in science and introduce them to the benefits of automotive recycling it is a win-win. These are our future scientists and engineers — to have them use our green recycled parts in such an esteemed undertaking is priceless.”

 “All recyclers should jump at the chance to work with FIRST®,” Kantor continues. “As auto recyclers, we often contribute to our local school programs in one way or another with little acknowledgment. This is a chance for us as an industry to gain national attention.”

As a part of this partnership, ARAEF is asking that ARA members who are contacted by FIRST® teams in their area to donate four to six small motors to the team to build their project.

A combination of wiper motors, window motors and seat motors could all serve as practical components of a team’s required components.

“This is a rare opportunity,” Ginny Whelan, ARAEF Director, says. “ARA Members have a chance to advance an understanding of the automotive recycling industry and green recycled parts to the bright young people who may very well be future automotive engineers. This crucial contact with our industry could foster a future consideration in automotive design that ultimately a vehicle is designed for end-of-life recycling. The ARA member’s small donation of four to six motors to a FIRST® team could reap big rewards in the future.” 

This is a win-win for ARA and FIRST® in that ARA Members can directly impact the teams to enlighten them about automotive recycling, and the FIRST® has a reliable donation source for their program.

How it Works

Each FIRST® Robotics Competition team will receive a voucher in their competition kit that explains they are to contact a local ARA Member to set a time to pick up the motors at the automotive recycling facility.

1. FIRST® Teams will search the online ARA Membership Directory at for ARA Member Automotive Recyclers in their area.

2. Teams will contact Auto Recyclers directly to introduce themselves and arrange a time to pick up the four to six motors.* If you receive a call, please remember time is of the essence for the team, and these parts are critical to their success. Your help creates goodwill from our industry.

3. The FIRST®  team will present a voucher to you (see a sample on the next page). Please fax the voucher to ARA at (571) 208-0430 so that we can track program participation.

4. The fun begins! Part of the FIRST® experience is having mentors work with the teams. Therefore, taking an active role to follow your team’s progress will really encourage the team. Cheer them on!

(*Wiper motors, window motors and seat motors could all serve as practical components of a team’s required motors. The students require four motors, but would appreciate your donation of six motors if at all possible.)

FIRST® was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership. 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.

ARA looks forward to helping FIRST® teams succeed in this exciting competition! To learn more, visit

Caryn Smith is the editor of Automotive Recycling Magazine.

Click to download the full January/February issue in PDF format

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