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