UFH: Alan Ostrow

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Alan Ostrow.


Name: Alan Ostrow
Date Honored: 11-14-2004
Years involved w/FIRST: 6
FIRST Team(s): Rohm &, Haas Company/BAE Systems/Johnson &, Johnson PRD/Siemens Corporation/DeVry University &, Wissahickon High School &, North Montco Technical Career Center (0341)
Role: Team Leader and Royal Pain
Quote: “The adventure is its own reward- but it’s necessarily dangerous……”, Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Bio: Al Ostrow serves as the dynamic mentor on Team 341, Miss Daisy. He started the team in 1999 and has since assisted with the beginnings of many rookie teams. He also had a large hand in the well-known offseason event, the Ramp Riot.

Al’s advice to FIRSTers was short, sweet, and rung a little too true: “There are very few problems in life that can’t be solved with wire ties, duct tape and the Machinery’s Handbook.” Although team 341 uses a little more than those materials, their mentor recalls some of his favorite memories with their well-crafted bots in competition. "During our rookie year at the 2000 Philly Regional our machine had a complete collapse right before the playoffs. Team 272 (Lansdale Catholic) and Team 56 (Boundbrook H.S.) rallied our team to make an emergency hanging device in less than an hour. We had about eight pairs of hands, all from different teams working on the machine at the same time. From outside it looked like chaos, but what was happening was pure harmony. They taught our team a valuable lesson about helping others and never giving up! When the playoffs began, there we stood, three schools together in the stands cheering for a common goal, as friends, not rivals. It taught me everything I needed to know about FIRST.

Another wonderful experience was at the 2001 Championship. That year we had two, very outgoing, deaf students on our team. I remember going out on a mission to find a part and when I returned to the pit there were about 10 deaf students sitting on the floor of the pit signing to each other. For the next 3 days our pit became a meeting area for a very large group of deaf FIRST competitors. The sight of all those kids in different colored shirts signing to each other was something I will always remember. This was the first time I realized how the FIRST experience extends so far beyond the machines that we build. These experiences have hooked me into FIRST forever. And the most amazing thing is that every year some new experience happens that renews my belief in this competition."

Al and his fellow mentors also have an outstanding record of accomplishments. "Any accomplishment mentioned here is truly the work of many. My co-coaches Dina Campagna and Jim Haine along with an amazing crew of students, parents and sponsors make this team a model for others. You also could not succeed in FIRST without the help of many other caring teams. We have received tremendous assistance from teams 103, 225, 272, 316, 357, 365, 484, and 1218. Thanks to all of them! That being said, I have listed below some of our greatest accomplishments.

  1. The growth of our off-season competition “Ramp Riot” is a deep source of pride. We started in 2000 with 7 teams in an empty gym and now boast 28 teams, 1500 fans, a food charity drive and a major rock station as part of the event.
  2. Of course, being a National Honorable Mention and Two Time Regional Chairman’s Award Team has a very special meaning for our team.
  3. Winning the 2003 Galileo Division with a 100% student built machine also ranks up there among our best moments.
  4. Another amazing accomplishment happened quietly last year as several of our original members came back to volunteer at FIRST Regionals and to mentor our younger students. Seeing these kids come back from their busy college lives to volunteer for FIRST says it all."

Congratulations to Alan Ostrow, our next do-it-all-mentor-extraordinare Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: OneAngryDaisy

Congratulations to Alan Ostrow for being honored as our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Ha ha… I just met Alan this past weekend at Ramp Riot. I drove 4 hours from CT to PA to go. (Half of that was in the snow. :ahh: )

Congratulations Alan! And thanks for inviting us to “the garden” this weekend.

Congratulations Al! Great timing…right after you put on yet another extraordinary off-season competition. Keep up the good work!

I’d like to thank the UFH committee for making such a wonderful selection-

in my 18 years, I don’t think ANYONE has influenced my life as much as Mr. O has- my freshman year I had no clue what I was getting in when I signed up for the team… We simply would not be the same without Mr. O- my senior year we spent the entire fall alone going to numerous schools, malls, and various places showing youngsters our robots- thanks to his dedication… we even hosted a 3 day event at NBC"s Tech Fest, not to mention Ramp Riot- thanks to his never- ending desire to spread the word of FIRST.

I will never cease to be amazed when I enter his room- there are always stacks of paper from every organization and place imaginable, either looking for a sponsor for someone, a place to give a demonstration at, or something related to FIRST. Mr. O has definitely become my role model, and I hope to be as ‘big’ as he is for a team in the future.

A nice anecdote to show what he does- the past week at Ramp Riot V one of my past teammates asked me if I knew where ‘O’, as we call him, was. I told her I had no clue where- she commented that every five minutes someone asked her where O was at- the entire day he was doing something, I doubt he even had a minute to sit down all day long.

All in all, I’d like to give a HUGE thanks to O- for making my four years in HS more exciting than I could have ever imagined- my experiences at the schools and malls alone greatly outweigh the 2 Chairmans Awards and Galileo Championship 341 earned. I would never have imagined it’d be possible to learn more outside the shop and field, out there in the real world.

Behind every great FIRST team are a few dedicated and caring adults. No one embodies the spirit of FIRST more than Al Ostrow. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I wish she could meet Al and 341 and know she was absolutely right.

Every 15 days i get to learn about one great mentor from FIRST. UFH is probably one of the most creative committee ever made. mentioning names of great mentors who helps keep FIRST growing more and more each day.

You are well deserved for this Award Mr. Ostrow. Congratulations…:slight_smile:

Congratulations Al,
Thanks for all the time and effort you put into the program. Good luck in the future.

A Much deserved award!

On a side note, i can totaly ID a bunch of those people in the background of that picture, those silly kids in yellow…

Way to go, Al!!!

Extremely committed, tirelessly focused, and a great all-around guy!!!

On behalf of the MOEboteers of Team 365, we salute you. Keep doing what you are doing, because it is making a significant difference.

Clap-Clap Clap-Clap-Clap Clap-Clap-Clap-Clap GO AL!!!

RAGE salutes another fantastic choice! Al has been extremely helpful to us during the last several weeks since RAGE made the decision to participate in Ramp Riot… I look forward to meeting you in person this spring!Congratulations!

I just wanted to thank the UFH committee, OneAngryDaisy, and the **FIRST community ** for their kind words.

Anybody that knows anything about FIRST understands that this is a group effort and that the praise bestowed upon one person is really a reflection on the work of many.

Many of these people and teams were mentioned in the Bio, but I just wanted to mention once again the work of **Dina Campagna ** and Jim Haine, my co-coaches and friends during this six year journey.

Not only are they technically strong and insightful, but they truly embody the FIRST principles that we all work so hard to maintain. Team 341 would not be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of these two incredible human beings.

I also just wanted to thank my wife (Wendi) and my kids (Evan & Emily) for supporting all of the long hours and making all of the sacrifices that any FIRST family must endure. Their patience knows no limits.

It truly is a joy to have such good people supporting your every move.

Thank you again and Good Luck to everyone in the upcoming season!!