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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-06-2006, 05:22 AM
Shankar M Shankar M is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here is Team 188's submission for Shawn Lim, WFA winner at GTR. Congratulations Shawn!

“Robotics is the combined effort of every individual. The design rooms and the machine shop floors are the great leveller. There are no ‘team leaders’, only workers and innovators.” - Shawn Lim (1999)

Since Shawn Lim’s pioneering days in 1996, he has been and continues to be an inspiration to our entire team. He is one of the few dedicated individuals to have completed the “FIRST cycle” – from team member to sponsor to mentor. His ten years of involvement in FIRST are filled with momentous personal and team-based accomplishments.

As a founding member of our team during highschool, Shawn helped to create a solid base to build our team on. His dedication and passion for FIRST earned him a full scholarship to Kettering University in Michigan, the first ever awarded to a Canadian student. While there, he and two other Woburn Robotics alumni formed their own company, Flatline Solutions Incorporated.
After graduating, Shawn returned to mentor Team 188 the first opportunity he got, replacing one of our most senior mentors. Not only did he fill the void, he expanded the role with extensive knowledge in mechanical and computer engineering and expertise in strategy and planning. Some of the students he mentored have now returned as mentors themselves, inspired by Shawn’s example. Two of them have even formed their own company, 05 Image Engineering. Beyond motivating and inspiring students, he has also been able to convert friends that had never been exposed to the FIRST program, into dedicated mentors. “I have little to no skills in engineering, but through Shawn's passion for the team, I became more aware of what help I could offer in other areas of the team. I'm now a mentor for Team 188 and it's a decision that I will never regret”, affirms Goldie Nguyen.
Shawn has made many contributions to our team as a student, yet his continued mentorship, coupled with Flatline’s sponsorship, continues to benefit our team on a much larger scale. He is involved with all aspects of the team; his calm demeanour, good humour and quick thinking has helped team members overcome obstacles and solve dilemmas. “In our signature team huddles, Shawn would always be ready with a joke or humorous observation to keep us calm and to prepare us for the match”, recalls alumnus Jeffrey Li.
This past summer, Flatline Solutions Inc. provided a grant to a graduating member, employing and providing him with corporate experience. They also opened their office to our team on several occasions, for business planning, working on the collaborative mecanum project with Team 4, and the Championship webcast.

Shawn’s selfless contributions extend well beyond the brick walls of Woburn into the FIRST community. He is one of several Woburn mentors that moderate the GTR website forum and run a program called ‘Ask the Experts’. This system allows users to ask questions and receive answers within 24 hours. Close friend and 2004 Regional Woodie Flowers Award Winner Karthik Kanagasabapathy asserts, "Shawn has always put his heart and soul into FIRST. He's always looking for an opportunity to give back to the program that has given him so much."

Although Shawn maintains that there are no ‘team leaders’, his continual involvement in FIRST has proven otherwise. Often we are inspired by individuals with first-hand experience, those who push the boundaries to become true leaders, challenging themselves and their team to be the best they can be. With this idea in mind and as he continues to lead by example and teach with innovation, Shawn Lim unequivocally represents the ideals and values of what FIRST is meant to be.
  #17   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-06-2006, 08:44 AM
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RoboMom RoboMom is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Wow, these are fun to read!
Any women in the pool this year?
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  #18   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-06-2006, 10:13 AM
Andy Baker's Avatar Woodie Flowers Award
Andy Baker Andy Baker is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboMom
Wow, these are fun to read!
Any women in the pool this year?
Only one: Williane Tenca from team 1510

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Kressly
Let's get an early start on this in 2006! In 2004, we had almost all of the winning entries. In 2005, we didn't do as well. Let's get these incredible mentor stories posted throughout the season this year instead of waiting until the end.
It is good to see teams posting essays. However, some teams may choose not to, and that is still OK. Nominators and candidates may have their reasons for not making these essays public. Nominators write these things without the candidates' approval, of course, so some content may not be desired to be publicized.

Andy B.
  #19   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-06-2006, 10:48 AM
Rich Kressly's Avatar
Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
Robot/STEM troublemaker since 2001
no team (Formerly 103 & 1712. Now run U.P. Robotics (other programs))
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker
Only one: Williane Tenca from team 1510

It is good to see teams posting essays. However, some teams may choose not to, and that is still OK. Nominators and candidates may have their reasons for not making these essays public. Nominators write these things without the candidates' approval, of course, so some content may not be desired to be publicized.

Andy B.
Andy brings up a VERY good point that I neglected to mention *kicks self*
While we are encouraging teams to post as many stories as possible so others will submit entries in the future, there are many good reasons for teams not to post and that needs to be respected. Thanks for the insight Andy *kicks self again*

That being said, if your team is OK with posting and you just haven't gotten around to it, now is the time.
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  #20   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-03-2006, 11:52 AM
Unsung FIRST Hero
miketwalker miketwalker is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Here is the WFA submission for Scott Strickland from Team 21, ComBBAT. He won up at the Palmetto Regional.

Scott Strickland strikes again! This year nobody will survive unaffected by one of the greatest mentor masterminds in all of ComBBAT history. Side effects of his influence include small burning sensations from intense engineering passion, anxiety attacks from successful designs, and possible strokes of scientific appreciation. Most who have come in contact with this man have never lived the same; his enthusiasm is incurably contagious.

Kickoff reinvigorates the team after a long off-season, but such is not the case when it comes to Scott. One would get the impression that he had never fully recuperated from the strong and ecstatic emotions of the previous year. Even before the unveiling of the game, ideas come flying out of a seemingly bottomless pit of enthusiasm. However, due to this year’s precautions, the team decided to limit the projectile conceptions to no greater than 26.8 mph.

In theory, design is the most important step to successfully completing a robot. ComBBAT, on the other hand, has created an alternative approach - “to build first and ask questions later.” Part of this philosophy, which has had surprisingly promising outcomes, can be attributed to Scott for placing such an emphasis on team involvement. Unlike most engineers, he does not issue a mandated design and expect the team to comply. Instead, he urges the team to get involved from day one by issuing a massive assault on prototyping. We bring him solutions and he helps us incorporate them onto the robot. As a result, issues arise that could have been avoided had Scott personally addressed them. He realizes that we are not “professionals” and must learn from our own mistakes. While it may seem counter-productive, the approach has greatly benefited the team in terms of expanding our problem solving skills.

ComBBAT’s diversity stems from the vast differences of its team members’ applicable experience. Everyone is an equal member, but not all members are equally experienced. Scott tries to bridge this gap by encouraging and directing team participation in the simplest terms, which often stem from common movie adages. “This is your mission, whether you choose to accept it…” Scott recognizes that not all ComBBAT operations are the most glorious of tasks and often require some humorous motivation.

Helping the team continue in the right direction, Scott’s eight years of “team experience” (or in other words “teen experience”) have allowed him to communicate effectively with the dominant age group. Besides always being “down with the team,” he finds a way to reduce the technically advanced engineering jargon often associated with his trade. “This is a sprocket… it allows the motor to turn the shaft, which powers the conveyer system.” His brilliance accompanied with his clear use of speech facilitates a smooth flow of ideas and directions throughout the ComBBAT domain.

Team 21’s number denotes its long-standing, eight year history with FIRST, of which Scott can proudly boast having been an outstanding mentor for the entire duration. From its inception, he has always been ComBBAT’s primary engineer and supporter, not to mention financial prospector. Boeing’s sponsorship has at times been on the rocks, but Scott has consistently exerted his managerial status to secure funds for the team. Without his desire to truly promote the ideals of FIRST, the team could have easily collapsed from the loss of a solid sponsor.

Rarely is such a great cause blessed with such a committed individual as Scott Strickland. He fully deserves the Woodie Flowers Award for all of his contributions to both his students and his team. Thanks Scott for all that you do – We at ComBBAT salute you!
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  #21   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-03-2006, 04:59 PM
Stuart's Avatar
Stuart Stuart is offline
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FRC #1745 (The P-51 Mustangs)
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

here is the WFA submition for Robert Acosta (team 1745), he won at Lone Star Regional.

Teacher, mentor, friend, leader; These words describe Pearce High School Robotics coach Robert Acosta quite well and so do: dedicated, patient, and intelligent.

Our names our Joshua and Caleb Slinkard, and we have had the pleasure and honor of working with Robert on several robots for FIRST, BEST and GEAR. Many a Saturday afternoon has been sent planning and constructing robots in his garage, with classic rock music in the background. Where as some coaches consider robotics a once-a-year commitment, Robert Acosta is dedicated year round to advancing robotics in all age groups.

Robotics season begins in January, when F.I.R.S.T kicks off its yearly competition. And while this will be J.J. Pearce’s first year in FIRST, Robert has worked with two different teams for a combined 7 years. While free week-ends and extra garage space are sacrificed for the good of the team, Robert maintains a clear focus on what is the true meaning of FIRST: to inspire students into pursuing careers in science or technology.

But FIRST is by no-means the end of the Robotics season. GEAR (Getting Excited about Robotics) is a robotics competition (similar to FLL) for elementary school students founded by Robert. The reason for GEAR’s creation was the need for an elementary school competition in the Dallas area. A steady increase in growth demonstrates the competition’s effectiveness: over the years GEAR has grown from a 4 team, one regional competition in 2002 to a 25 team competition in 2005, to a 4-regional competition in 2006.

After the GEAR season is over in April Robert gets a well-earned break, but not for long. Come September he prepares for the BEST robotics competition, in which he coaches two teams, one of which we are a part. During our 3 years under Robert we have never seen him display anger or impatience, instead focusing not on how well his teams do but on how much they learn. He also makes sure we all have a little fun as well. Once BEST is over, Robert turns his attention to the Dallas FIRST Lego League competition, where he has volunteers as the emcee, score keeper, and student volunteer coordinator for the event.


While the focus of the teams may be learning, the teams he has been a part of have had their fair share of accomplishments:

FIRST Robotics Competition

2000 1st Place winner - Lone Star Regional (team 437)
2001 3rd Place winner - Lone Star Regional (team 437)
2004 Rookie Inspiration Award - Midwest Regional (Team 1296) AutoDesk Visionary Award - Lone Star Regional (Team 1296)
2005 Team Spirit Award - Lone Star Regional (Team 1296)

But Robert’s promotion of robotics does not end with the competitions he enters. In 2001 he demonstrated FIRST robots during Texas Technology Week at Six Flags; in 2004 he demonstrated BEST robots at during the Girls’ Math and Science camp held at SMU; in 2005 he demonstrated FIRST,FLL, and VEX robots at the NBC 5 Home and Lifestyles Expo in Dallas; he also coordinated a fundraiser night and Lego Mindstorm Robots demonstration at Chuck’s Burgers in Dallas and demonstrated VEX robots during the Kids’ Day America (local child ID program) event at Parker College.

That’s a lot of commitment for a man with a family and full-time job, but Robert sees the importance of teaching today’s youth how engineering and science help shape the world we live in. We write this to salute a man who has inspired not only us but dozens of students to get involved in science and technology.



Submitted by,

Caleb Slinkard and

Joshua Slinkard
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  #22   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-03-2006, 06:47 PM
Nate Laverdure's Avatar
Nate Laverdure Nate Laverdure is online now
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Mr. Jerry Skene of Team 612 won at the Chesapeke Regional. Here is his entry:

Whether found leaning inquisitively over a robot, enthusiastically explaining the trigonometric relationship of drive wheel placement, or listening to a transmission presentation created by energetic students, this quiet yet impassioned mentor has made an indelible mark on each member of Chantilly Robotics. Throughout his 5 year relationship with Team 612, Mr. Skene has lead countless students to a discovery of not only their technical talents in the field of science and technology, but also to a recognition of our power to make a significant difference in the world.

Mr. Skene is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Institute and holds a Masters degree in applied physics. He has been granted several US and foreign patents and one of his designs is in permanent collection at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. He founded Skene Designs, an engineering firm established to create innovative products in the field of transportation. Yet, Mr. Skene views his role as mentor of Chantilly Robotics with equal regard, sacrificing countless hours to guide a team of 40 students from design conception to competition. His subtle yet ardent counsel has facilitated our team’s development of internal structure, project management and technological competence. Mr. Skene’s guidance has inspired each member of Chantilly Robotics to take creative design risks and to reach beyond the robotics lab to obtain student internships in a variety of engineering disciplines.

While examining the team’s proposal for a new drive system, Mr. Skene’s encouragement brought esoteric mathematic formulas to life as we evaluated the system’s efficacy. He guides us through captivating exploration of programming functions until we discover solutions that create a functioning device. He encourages each team member to build individual strengths while broadening our strengths and talents to meet the needs of the team. No sooner do we develop an understanding of a new concept, when Mr. Skene has us presenting our ideas to a group of engineers at a “brown bag” luncheon or before the camera in a television news segment. Standing at the white board before a group of peers while Mr. Skene looks on has generated a fair share of “ah-ha” moments for most of us.

After reading in the local newspaper about the successes of Chantilly Robotics, a family with a severely disabled infant contacted the team. Rahim was born with shortened limbs that extended inches from his trunk. His mobility was severely limited and the family was in need of a device to provide Rahim with the experiences of early childhood. In his quiet and encouraging way he asked simply, “What would it take?” We jumped to action! We designed a switch activated robotic device in which the child could merely touch a button with the end of his limb to be set in motion. As we presented Rahim’s family with the completed product, it was as though we were presenting them with a new future for their young child. In an interview with Washington’s Channel 9 news, Mr. Skene said about Rahim’s mother, “The view of what her child could grow up to be changed in an instant.” I’ve thought about that statement and I can honestly say that my view of what I could grow up to changed in that instant as well.

Mr. Skene embodies the mission of FIRST in his dream to “create a world where science and technology are celebrated … where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes” (Dean Kamen, 2006). Because of Mr. Skene’s dream, students under his tutelage not only dream – they achieve! Mr. Skene is the science and technology hero of Chantilly Robotics!
  #23   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-05-2006, 06:11 PM
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DCA Fan DCA Fan is offline
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Talking Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Rob Mainieri's update essay, won 2006 WFA:

“I see him more than my father,” says Christina Nguyen, a Midnight Mechanic. This applies to many members of Team 812. In addition to being a FIRST Senior Mentor, Chairperson for Team San Diego, and FIRST Ambassador, Robert Mainieri is truly a second father for many of us. This is the story of children inspired by his impact; a compilation of many stories guided by one voice.

In his first year, Mr. Mainieri strengthened the mathematics department and brought FIRST to the Preuss School. Five years later, he teaches Algebra II, Calculus, AP Calculus, and the FIRST Robotics class. He has also taught Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering. His “I Love Math” stickers are all over campus; students are overwhelmed with enthusiasm for the subject. His successes in the promotion of math and sciences have been accredited by the fact that 100% of our alumni pursue a profession in math and science. In addition, 14% percent of our high school population participates in FIRST; among those, 57% are female participants.

“If I didn’t love you guys I wouldn’t still be here,” says Mr. Mainieri. Over the past six years, many Midnight Mechanics perceive Mr. Mainieri as more than just a teacher and advisor; they have come to know him as a father. One of our students, Paul Tran says, “As a result of not having a father, I have no significant male figure in my life. I was a mediocre student. In 2003, I met Mr. Mainieri, who introduced me to FIRST. My life was then changed. I had initially wanted to become a lawyer, but Mr. Mainieri has motivated me pursue a career in science. After meeting Mr. Mainieri, I have worked hard to take a step closer to my goals. I received the Fish and Richardson U.S. Space Camp Scholarship in 2004 and the Physician Scientist Training Program Scholarship in 2005. Now, I am an intern for the National Institutes of Health.” In addition, other Midnight Mechanics, inspired by Mr. Mainieri, have achieved recognition through COSMOS, NASA SHARP, WPI GEMS, MIT MITES, and UCSD Medical and Science Internships.

“He knows me better than my own parents,” says one of our team members. Like a parent, Mr. Mainieri puts education first. Mr. Mainieri feels that success in academics is pivotal to prosper. Mr. Mainieri occasionally discourages students from continuing robotics because my academic grades were not sufficient. However, he goes the extra mile by providing students with individual attention and assistance and tries to bring students to adequate academic levels.

Following his introduction of FIRST to San Diego five years ago, Mr. Mainieri has recently introduced VEX Robotics to the San Diego area. Mr. Mainieri has driven Team 812 to bring VEX Robotics to the Monarch School, a local institute of education for homeless children.

The Monarch School is a home for two hundred homeless students which promise to provide shelter, clothing, and food in return for their attendance at the school. The Midnight Mechanics work with the school to provide mathematics and science tutoring, technology support, SAT preparation, and an introduction to robotics. Recently, we brought VEX Robotics into their curriculum. Mr. Mainieri had invited students from the school to participate in the VEX challenge with out team. Mr. Mainieri is truly a father figure for underprivileged children. He gives them the opportunity to learn and become inspired. “He gave me a new home,” one of the participants said, “he showed me that no matter how difficult my life can be, my dreams are never out of reach.”
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  #24   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-23-2006, 10:51 AM
Rich Kressly's Avatar
Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

16 wonderful winners are represented here. Now that the season has ended and people have had time to unwind a little, it would be great if more of these inspiring stories could be shared.
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Unread 11-23-2007, 04:46 PM
Rich Kressly's Avatar
Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration 2006: Who wants to read all the WFA entries?

Wow... look at these examples. Has your team started your 2008 entry yet? Rules are posted here:
http://www.usfirst.org/community/frc...nt.aspx?id=452
Go!!!!
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