UFH: Mike Wade

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Mike Wade.


Name: Mike Wade
Date Honored: 06-30-2005
Years involved w/FIRST: 8
FIRST Team(s): Lockheed Martin/AAI Corporation/BD/Towsontowne Rotary/Tessco &, Parkville High School and Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science (0007), NASA Goddard/University of Maryland/Dept. of Mechanical Engineering/Northrop Grumman & Eleanor Roosevelt High School (0053), Tessco Technologies/Siemens/William F. Goodling Advanced Skills Center-HIT/Legg Mason Fund/Nasa Goddard Flight Space Center & William Penn High School (0225), Corry Industrial Roundtable/Corry Contract Inc/Corry Lumber Co./Corry Rubber Corp./D&,E Machining Inc. /Rossbacher Insurance Service/State Farm Insurance/Tonnard Mfg. Corp./Viking Plastics Inc. &, Corry Area High School (0306), Rohm &, Haas Company/BAE Systems/Johnson &, Johnson PRD/Siemens Corporation/DeVry University &, Wissahickon High School &, North Montco Technical Career Center (0341), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Rinker Materials/The Kinna Family &, Linganore High School (0686), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center &, Woodlawn High School &, Fred Needel, Inc. &, Brauckmann Family &, Clash Family (0768), The RoboBees of NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center/The Patuxent Partnership/BAE Systems/O’Brien Realty - Mrs. Susan Stachelczyk &, Dr. James A. Forrest Career &, Technology Center (0836), Howard County Public Schools/NASA Goddard &, Glenelg (0888)
Role: NASA Assistance and Mentor
Quote: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Include me and I will understand. Be honest with me and we will work well as a team. Share what you know with me and we will accomplish great things together.” - Earl Casterline
Bio: Mike Wade belongs to many teams, but serves all of them with passion for FIRST as his driving force. Mike describes his function to the above listed teams as this: “I am in a unique position where I don’t have a single team but I have many teams. During the build time of the competition I work with more than one team helping them build parts for their robots. Sometimes this is very hard to do because I work under the assumption that the students should build the robot not me. With working with multiple teams I get in on some of the brainstorming before the robot is built. It can be very hard to sit there and not try to lead them down a path that another team is taking. I try to make the final design of the robots belong to the students. I am a machinist by training. When they decide on a complex part they want made I make them help me in the shop to build their assembly.
Another function I do is to help them raise the funds to compete. This can be through the NASA Grants that I take care of or working with the schools securing funds from private industry. I build and maintain a complete FIRST arena configured to the current years game. This arena is complete with time clocks, control system, sound system and display, and current year game pieces. NASA makes this arena available to local teams to host off season events. Some of the teams use these events as a fund raiser for their team. We also use this arena to allow the teams a place to practice before they ship their robots to the FIRST Regional. In 2005 we set the arena up in the National Building Museum in Washington DC and had 28 teams take part in the “Play Day”.
So even though I have my favorites I am lucky to have many teams involved in FIRST.”

Mike’s favorite memory from FIRST is touching and very inspiring. “A few years ago I was helping one of my teams that was having a lot of trouble with building the robot. On this team was a young lady that had no interest in engineering or building a robot. She joined the team to get close to a football player that was on the team. This young lady took great pride in her appearance and nothing was out of place in her attire. The robot they were building had to go on a diet to make weight. I gave this young lady the task of drilling holes in the robot to make it lighter. Once she found out that she liked building things, it was fun to watch the 6 week transformation of this prim and proper young lady into a girl in blue jeans, sweat shirt, and scrunchey. By the end of the build time she was the “expert” on that robot. A few years have past since this build season, the young lady has since graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Electrical engineering and is currently working on her Masters degree and already has job offers waiting on her when she graduates.”

We’re sure Mike has a host of awards, but he credits himself and Steve Chism as having a main accomplishment that made a difference. “Over the years many of my teams have won awards and won many different competitions. A few years ago a Navy Commander by the name of Steve Chism and myself had a vision of a regional competition in the Baltimore-Washington area. After putting our heads together, we decided to combine our collective resources and get two government agencies to work together to host a FIRST event. That is how the Chesapeake Regional came about. To me the greatest FIRST accomplishment is watching the faces of the students as they compete at the US Naval Academy’s Halsey Field with their Champion Robot.”

This seasoned FIRST veteran and do-it-all mentor had a bit of advice for his fellow participants in the program: “FIRST is an organization that has an easily defined way to become involved with the process. You will become so caught up in the process that it will become very hard to walk away form the program. This program will be rewarding for everyone involved if you treat everyone as an equal regardless of their status.”

Best of all, Mike credits FIRST as “an organization that has an easily defined way to become involved with the process. You will become so caught up in the process that it will become very hard to walk away from the program. This program will be rewarding for everyone involved if you treat everyone as an equal regardless of their status.”

Congrats to Mike Wade, our next deserving honoree of the Unsung FIRST Heroes Award.

Nominated By: OneAngryDaisy

Congratulations to Mike Wade, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

WOW…I looked at how many teams Mike is/was on and I am truly amazed…Congrats…you seriously deserve this Mike!

OMG I am so happy Mike Wade is on here. Congratulations man, you are truly deservant of this. I meet you every year because you help setup for Brunswick Eruption and your help and experience is invaluable. Good luck and hope to see you soon.

Mike Wade is an inspiration to FIRST mentors everywhere. He works tirelessly to ensure everything is running smoothly. He enables others through the generosity of his time (Ramp Riot, Brunswick Eruption, Duel on the Delaware among many others). He displays a modesty that is telling of who he really is.

Above all, Mike is a really good and approachable person. He is a guy you can talk with for hours and have it feel like only minutes.

Congratulations, Mike! This recognition is extremely well-deserved. Your efforts over the years have positively affected hundreds, if not thousands, or people.

We are in awe of you.

Congratulations Mike!!! This is well deserved recognition for your working to help so many teams.

Way to go Mike!
Mike Wade was the first one to tell me “There is no exit strategy in FIRST.” :slight_smile: He has helped so many teams, students and mentors and is part of the foundation for the Chesapeake Regional. Mike has no “off” season as he is then traveling up and down the East Coast helping with team events and numerous demonstrations. For 3 years, he spent 11 days each August, inside the leaky, hot and humid NASA tent, promoting FIRST at the Maryland State Fair, including the 3 day competition, one of the most challenging in FIRST. Anyone who survived that experience will tell you what a bonding time it was!
Mike has a quick wit and is always a pleasure to be around. I am looking forward to the fun at the Capital Clash (sort of like the Maryland State Fair only the petting zoo has gone high tech and air conditioning…)
A most well deserved nomination!

Mike is one of my favorite “NASA guys,” and I’m very proud to know him and to have worked with him at multiple regionals.

Congrats, Mike! You very much deserve this!

Congratulations Mike, you are truly a great person and definitely deserve this one. I and team 836 thank you for all your help, support, and interest in our team as well others.

Mike (and his compadre Pete Baltzell) certainly deserve UFH status. Thanks OneAngryDaisy for correcting the long overdue oversight and submitting the nomination.

Of course I know Mike from his annual help for our team (25) in loaning and running the field for Brunswick Eruption. Literally, we couldn’t hold the event without him. He is one of those people that gives until it hurts and which we all aspire to emulate.

Congratulations again on being selected as an Unsung FIRST Hero,


Finally someone I know of! Mr. Wade, you’ve been such a wonderful example of GP…I’ve known you for three years and I’m so proud to say I do! Thank you for your infinite contributions to FIRST…you truly are an inspiration to all of us!

–Dorienne Plait from Team 007…the girl you always tease. :wink:


it was a pleasure to work with you at York this past year, being new at reffing, your feild was flawless and you did your best to inform the onlookers about the competition all day long. from all the teams you have been on im assuming you know what your doing, so keep it up!

thanks, and congratulations!!!

Greg Perkins

You really deserve this honor. Mike, from the time I met you, I was glad to see a down to earth guy with the love and passion for FIRST and the students. You are one of those who lives the passion. Congrats!!!

Congrats Mike. Thanks for the useful advise a week ago in NH. I don’t know what FIRST would do without you. Keep up the great work.

Congrats to Mr. Wade another great mentor that truly deserves this award

Mike Wade is the person who The UFH was created for,

Mike is probobly one of the best people to have running a Field weather it be FIRST or NASA built, he is a great mentor and one of the people i can only hope to aspire to when it comes to mentoring FIRST teams…

I Remeber the first year we held brunswick eruption, i was the head ref, and in the finals a robot was damaged, and after mike spoke to the crowd and the teams about the rules concerning time outs in the finals, we the team decided to call their time out, when that time ran out, the opposing alliance captain called a time out to graciously give them a fighting chance, when that was up the team was still unable to complete (and their robot was in pieces on the field) and i started freaking out and asked him what i should do, and his told me that it was my discision, and in looking back that was reallly cool he left that big of a discision in the hands of a Highschool student. I of course made the wrong discision, but hey we still had a night 2 vs 2 fight in the finals instead of 2 vs 1 :stuck_out_tongue: ( and i learned that a nice guy is ussually the one getting yelled at by the crowds :stuck_out_tongue: )

Thank you Mike for all your hard work and dedication, and to use a phrase that is quite often over used, With out yours or Pete’s help, FIRST on the East Coast could not have prospered like it has.

If you know Mike, you know how much he cares about FIRST, students, and the future. While other people are talking about it, Mike’s usually out there somewhere making something happen for a team, a regional, the championship, an off-season competition, on-and-on. Thanks Mike, we could never repay you for all of your efforts.

Mike Wade has to be one of the **most deserving ** UFH winners ever!

Way back in the Fall 2002 we were unable to get a FIRST field for Ramp Riot and Mike stepped in to save our event.

He drives up and down the East Coast with his plain white truck full of field parts, helping thousands of kids experience FIRST every year. He has no idea how many lives he has changed.

I am also amazed at his physical energy. This guy never takes a break. At the Maryland State Fair Competition he walked back and forth for three straight days simultaneously running the event and talking to the crowd. He is also just a nice person full of enthusiasm, patience, and a passion for FIRST.

When Mike shows up at your event the most valuable thing you get is NOT the parts in the back of the truck. The most important item is right in the driver’s seat. You get Mike Wade!!! Our kids truly look up to him and anxiously await his arrival each year.

I am proud to know Mike and extremely THANKFUL for all of the events he supports in this region and across the nation.

On behalf of the students, parents and sponsors of Team 341, Congratulations Mike!!!

Congratulations, Mike!
It is amazing how many people help move FIRST along and how many come from the east coast. Keep up the good work!

Congrats to Mike Wade, you do so much for so many in FIRST.