Christa McAuliffe Coin Now Law!

On Wednesday, October 9th, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill to create a commemorative coin for Christa McAuliffe, to raise proceeds going to FIRST.

This a huge achievement for equality, STEM education, and FIRST. Let’s all celebrate!

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Is it really?

I’m sorry, the way Dean presented this at Champs last year left a poor impression on me, and I can’t shake the lingering feeling that this is something of a co-opting of a tragedy to raise money for a mostly-unrelated program.

These might be the kinds of things that are necessary to grow a large organization such as FIRST - I don’t know, I’m not well-versed in such things. But I can’t make myself see this as some sort of huge triumph for STEM.

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This is how I felt about it initially as well. After hearing him talk about it in a different context I finally understood why the coin was so important to him.

I thought it was simply a weak fundraising tool, but to Dean it’s not about the money for FIRST. The coin was extremely important to his Dad, and this is a way for him to remember his Dad by. It happens to be extremely difficult to get something like this done of course, and so he is using FIRST as his tool to get it passed. As a return for FIRST helping him any money from it goes back into FIRST.

Once it was framed in that way I saw it in a much different light, and I am really glad that the community was able to accomplish this for Dean, not for the money or recognition, just personally.

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