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Unread 04-09-2018, 12:44 AM
Ubiquity Ubiquity is offline
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Mark Leon has left the planet.

I just received the stunning news that Mark Leon, the force behind the NASA Robotics Alliance project, has finished his mission. Mark was my boss in 1999 when he asked me to mentor a team. Best guy I ever worked for. I won't forget him, and I promise to "Do the math." With Mark and my friend the late Joe Hering, it always "the kids come first," which kept us going when dealing with the hurdles in our path. I will miss his blue hair and shoulder rolls.

God speed, Mark Leon.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 01:24 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

A large reason why I felt like FRC was cool when I was just getting started. I got to sit next to him on the flight to St Louis in 2014, and definitely learned a lot and was well entertained. Very glad I got to know him, and I can't thank him enough for everything. Condolences to his family, a life well lived.

On a different note, the OP was really well written.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 01:37 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

I've been fortunate to see Mark at some events before his adventure/stay to Columbia. Hearing him say "Do the math, save the world!" was something that I always took to heart from Mark and would say to the students on my team in recent seasons. He has been an inspiration to many students near and far.

RIP Mark Leon and thank you for your amazing legacy.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 01:43 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Mark has been an icon in FIRST. I remember his great MC work at the early days of Arizona Regionals, to say nothing of what he has done for the program on the NASA end and working directly with teams. He is part of what I thought was so cool about this program all those years ago as a student, with his iconic blue hair and theatrics on the center stage. Shocking to hear he is gone.

My condolences to his family, friends, and all the teams he has worked with.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 01:45 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Mark emceed the first event I attended as a student with my rookie team and then was again on our field at Champs that year. The guy with the blue hair made a lasting impression on us, by energizing and making the event great fun. Thanks for making FIRST special and RIP.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 01:49 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Jesus.

Mark is one of the reasons that our team exists today. He was an inspirational figure to my friends and I during our time as students. Mark always remembered our team and always took some time to say hi when he ran into us at competition. In 2009 he even came by our school and gave a presentation about Mars rovers. I gave him a ride to the airport and the headrest of my mom's car was stained blue for months.

If FIRST is about inspiration, then Mark Leon was as FIRST as it can get. It doesn't seem right that he should be gone.

Do the math; save the world.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 03:12 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

I grew up with Mark as our MC at the Sacramento regional. He was always excited to be at the event and full of contagious energy. He has and will continue to leave a lasting and profound impact in FRC and will be remembered by so many of us.

It is only now that I have truely noticed that he was not around this season, I had assumed that he was off on some important adventure. Mark made the world a better place just by moving through it and I am sad that more people won't get to know him like so many of us have.


Do the math, Save the world! - Mark Leon
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Unread 04-09-2018, 07:14 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

I remember when I first started watching regional webcasts as a 6 year old many years ago. Mark was always the SVR guy and MC I associated with California that I looked forward to watching with his energy and wackiness. He also is someone I credit with providing inspiration to me to go out and become a GA in the Northeast. If I am able to convey half the energy he did, I will consider myself to be successful.

I was lucky enough to have one conversation with him over facebook a while back to thank him for the inspiration and all that he does. His reply was simply:

"It is a job of the heart and the spirit! Its not about us, its about them and what they can become."

Those words still resonate with me today. Even though I never directly met him in person, he had such an impact on me. I can't even imagine how many lives he has impacted out in the CA and general FIRST communnity. He was and still is an inspiration to many.

He will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 07:51 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

FRC Team 1501 T.H.R.U.S.T. sends its condolences to Mark's family and friends.
Rest In Peace Mark. You will be missed.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 08:13 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Condolences to Mark's family and his many friends.

Like others, the first time I met Mark - in 1999 at the first Silicon Valley Regional in the blimp hangar - was memorable, as was every wonderful encounter with him since then.

May all be at peace - Vince
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Unread 04-09-2018, 08:34 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

This hurts to read.

The emcees of the Championship events from 2004-2007 are who I consider to be my role models. Each had their own style, and I always loved seeing Mark in his blue NASA apparel. I had no clue what he did when I was I high school student, all I knew was that he was involved with NASA, and having him at FIRST events was cool. He was entertaining, did jump kicks, somersaults, this isn't how I imagined personalities at NASA. I wanted to be Mark Leon.

In 2012 I emceed a FIRST LEGO League World Invitational in Florida. Mark came as mentor to a Colombian team, Rovolution. I was starstruck when he stood next to me as I announced his team's match, so of course I said

""This is the reason we do the calculations.
This is the premise for the equation formulas.
I think what I am saying is... This is why we do the math."

"Would you agree, sir?"


Thank you, Mark. For your energy and inspiration. We'll take it from here.
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Events I'm Emceeing/Game Announcing:
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2/7/2015 FLL Orlando Regional
2/14/2015 FTC State Championship
2/26-2/28/15 FRC South Florida Regional
3/8/2015 FLL State Championship
3/12-3/14/15 FRC Orlando Regional
4/22-4/25/15 FIRST World Championship Event - FTC Franklin Field

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Unread 04-09-2018, 08:39 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Mark's iconic personality undoubtedly inspired thousands of students and mentors over the years, myself included. I'll never forget the level of energy he brought to his events.

It's hard to imagine competitive robotics without him. Now it's up to us to carry the torch and continue to inspire others to do the math.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 08:42 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

R.I.P. Mark. :'(

#speechless
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Unread 04-09-2018, 09:06 AM
Tyler Olds Tyler Olds is offline
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Saddened to hear of Mark's passing. Mark had no limit to the amount of energy he brought to events and has touched countless lives. Mark was typically my analogy of a rocket scientist: On the surface was borderline crazy yet you knew that he was an incredibly smart and passionate man who loved what he did and helped bring a tremendous impact to thousands.

In the FRC community it seems that everyone that knew Mark always had at least 2-3 crazy stories of their interactions with him. I had the privilege of emceeing with him at championships for several years and from crazy meditation sessions on top of field crates, to building a car out of Legos during a meeting, Mark never failed to surprise anyone.

Mission Complete Mark. Rest in Peace.
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Unread 04-09-2018, 10:16 AM
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Re: Mark Leon has left the planet.

Mark Leon could leap 2 FLL students in a single bound.

Somersault distance: 4 yards

Every day he was shufflin'
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Events I'm Emceeing/Game Announcing:
1/10/2015 FTC Jacksonville League Championship
1/11/2015 FTC Central FL Tesla League Championship
1/17/2015 FTC South Florida League Championship
1/24/2015 FTC Tampa/St. Pete League Championship
2/7/2015 FLL Orlando Regional
2/14/2015 FTC State Championship
2/26-2/28/15 FRC South Florida Regional
3/8/2015 FLL State Championship
3/12-3/14/15 FRC Orlando Regional
4/22-4/25/15 FIRST World Championship Event - FTC Franklin Field

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