FIRST Newsletter - June, 2009

"Techno Ticks" Win 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition Chairman's Award

FRC Chairmans Techno Ticks

The Chairman’s Award was created to keep the central focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) on our ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encourage more of today’s youth to become scientists, engineers, and technologists. The 2009 Chairman’s Award winner is Team 236, the "Techno Ticks" from Old Lyme, Connecticut. Although the team is relatively small, the members have set amazing goals for themselves and have had a profound impact in their community and beyond.

Ten percent of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School student body participates in the FRC team, which has affected change to the school curriculum and helped draft renovation plans to ensure that the school’s new facilities were designed to best host their robotics competitions.

Team 236’s long-standing, powerful relationship with their sponsor - Dominion Millstone Power Station- has helped in the establishment of new FRC, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL), and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) teams statewide. And, when the team learned that many FLL teams weren’t able to participate in the state tournament due to space limitations, they organized a series of qualifying events, recruited other FIRST teams to run the events, and trained the judges and referees. They also host FLL and FRC off-season events.

When Dean Kamen asked teams to spread the message of FIRST to elected officials, this team took a most direct approach, traveling to Washington, DC and visiting the office of each of our nation’s 435 US representatives.

Team 236’s dedication, enthusiasm, and sense of fun - from their signature "tick dance" to their entertaining Chairman’s Award video entry - are extremely contagious as they spread the infectious spirit of FIRST and inspire greater respect and support for science and engineering.

 Paul Alliare Medal

2009 Allaire MedalistsThe team selected to receive the Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Championship has the additional honor of identifying one of its junior or senior student members who best exemplifies the FIRST mission and who most demonstrates proven leadership both on his/her team and in his/her community. This student is then awarded the Paul Allaire Medal and an accompanying scholarship of up to $10,000 to the college or university of his/her choice.

After serious deliberation, the team has chosen two equally deserving seniors, Evan Anway and James Spina, to receive the Allaire Medal and share the scholarship (each will receive a $5,000 scholarship).

Evan Anway led the Public Relations team in creating all of its videos, including those for the President’s Circle and Chairman’s Award. Evan will be attending Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he will be studying environmental science.

Through all his years as a Techno Tick, James Spina could always be counted on to be there, helping with anything that needed to be done. He helped run the team’s Bash @ The Beach post-season competitions from start to finish. He was also there to assist with the State FLL Championship. James will be studying Biology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.