In 1989, FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology was founded. FIRST focuses on inspiring students in math, science, and technology fields through sponsoring a worldwide robotics competition.
Kokomo High School’s robotics team has participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition since its inception in 1992. In that year, the Delco Electronics/Kokomo-Center Schools “DEKCS” partnership formed the Science Kats, one of 28 teams to compete in the inaugural FIRST competition. Since then, FIRST has grown to include well over 1600 high school teams in countries around the world. During this time, the team’s partnerships have also grown. Over the years, the team adopted its current name of the TechnoKats, Delco became a division of Delphi, other sponsoring partners have joined, and the TechnoKats have made a name for themselves in Howard County and in the FIRST community.
The team is proud of its history. It has a strong tradition of competing at a high level in FIRST while also being a model team in showing “gracious professionalism” as it competes. Its members have mentored many teams, both in Indiana and across North America. These teams and others in the FIRST community look to the TechnoKats as a model FIRST team, as they are a perennial contender for the highest honor given by FIRST, the “Chairman’s Award”. The team continually strives to uphold that model for how a FIRST team should be organized and how it should compete.
During these many years, the team has been led by the partnership between Delphi and the Kokomo School Corporation, with increasing levels of student control and responsibility. The success and stability of the team is a direct result of the strong partnership between Delphi and KSC, and the dedication of coaches, mentors, sponsors, and students.
More than 85% of TechnoKats students have gone on to work as engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in various fields. Alumni work in the automotive industry for such companies as Lockheed Martin, Delphi, and GM. Many work in aerospace, information technology, consumer electronics, and health care. It is certain that being a TechnoKat played a big role in their success today.