FIRST Alumni Group: FIRST Alumni at University of Tennessee Knoxville

FIRST in Big Orange Country: Staying Involved with FIRST in College

Aug 14, 2018 Written by FIRST Alum: Josh Witt

At the University of Tennessee, we support FIRST. Not only does UT’s Tickle College of Engineering host a FIRST Robotics Competition kickoff and regional, but we have a club just for FIRST Alumni to stay connected and engaged with FIRST as they progress through college.

Even though our FIRST alumni club is only one year old, we’re already very active! Not only have we volunteered at FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics Competition events, but we’ve also represented FIRST at university events like Engineers Day, when high school students visit UT to learn about engineering disciplines and meet engineering students.

FIRST Alumni at UT Build Season Meet-Up

We’ve also hosted our own events for teams, like our Build Season Meet-Ups, where we invited FIRST Robotics Competition teams to the UT campus during the build season to talk about their progress and learn how other teams were tackling that season’s challenges. Teams practiced Coopertition at these events by discussing how to overcome the problems they encountered with other teams and FIRST alumni.

Keeping alumni involved with FIRST is a big priority for our club, so we prioritize volunteering at events. We are the Tennessee Volunteers, so it’s a natural fit for us! For our members who may be too busy with school or work to volunteer often, we make sure they still stay up to date with FIRST news, scholarships, and internship opportunities by sending a monthly newsletter. (If you’re interested in our newsletter, you can sign up here!)

FIRST Alumni at UT KnoxvilleOur club has also done exciting things like attend the 2018 FIRST Championship Detroit, but we don’t plan to stop there. We already have larger, more ambitious plans for the 2018-19 academic year, like starting a Robot in 3 Days team for the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season, Destination Deep Space presented by Boeing.

If you’re not a FIRST alum yet, consider joining us at the University of Tennessee as a Vol! You’ll find plenty of opportunities to stay involved with FIRST and meet other FIRST alumni.

Learn more about FIRST Alumni at UT Knoxville.

Clubs like these can be found all over the world! Using the new FIRST Alumni Groups webpage, you can find the group closest to you and stay involved, even as a college student. If there’s not a group close to you, get one started!


Josh Witt is a senior in Journalism & Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee and an alum of FIRST Robotics Competition team 3966, the L&N STEMpunks. He currently serves as president of the FIRST Alumni at UT Knoxville student organization and is a science writing intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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