St Joseph Competition - Dean Kamen here!

The Saint Joseph Michigan District Competition started out with a bang as the students, mentors, and audience walked in to hear that Dean Kamen was in the building! After a few minutes of non-belief we all found out it was true. He was truly inspirational as he visited every pit, signed countless shirts, and made a great opening speech. We even got a sneak peek at’s new video for Worlds. Thank you Dean for coming to our event.

The day of competition was fierce with all the robots performing well. It will be an interesting day Saturday when the Alliance Selections take place.

I was watching St. Joe on webcast. I was really amused by 4381’s robot - it looks like Gary the snail from SpongeBob and has an LED panel that says “MEOW”.

Also, I heard a parody song by 2959 that I think was called “Chosen”, based off a song from the film “Frozen”. When will that be online?

Dean visited our event with Fred Upton, U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 6th District. Congressman Upton has been a friend of Dean’s for 10 years, and he really gets FIRST. He was field side in a blue Judge shirt during this afternoon’s elimination rounds, talking in very excited tones with many participants. His congressional committee responsibilities* position him well to be a force for the culture transformation mission of FIRST. He mentioned, during the introduction speech he gave for Dean, that the Congress will be working on some changes to the way that the FDA approves new things, and that Dean will be testifying about that when the committee holds hearings – no doubt, Dean is one of America’s best experts on new medical devices.

Anyway, whatever other reasons Dean may have had for visiting us in St. Joseph, his impact on the participants at our district competition will be remembered for a long time. I have been listening to Dean deliver basically the same message since 1996 – it never gets old.

*Mr. Upton is currently the chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Sorry it took a while to get back to you – we were away for Spring Break and I was internet free.

Yes, our team put together the song “Chozen” You can hear it on You Tube – just search for Team 2959 Chozen and it will pop up.