Category Archives: Gracious Professionalism

Celebrating TDT Super Mentor Paul Markun

Paul Markun with TDT Members in 2012

Paul Markun with TDT Members in 2012

While we love the robot build each year, FIRST  is about a lot more than robots, and nothing brings that home more than the countless people who dedicate their time and share their expertise with students on teams everywhere.

In our case, our most dedicated mentor is Mr. Paul Markun, of Tampa Technik, in St. Petersburg.  Every year we thank him profusely.  But it never seems enough for all he gives, which goes so far beyond mechanical engineering guidance.

When we first called on him out of the blue, in 2008, seeking help with our rookie team, we had no idea that was the start of a special relationship and a call to excellence that would last seven years!

This year, we decided to thank Mr. Markun by nominating him for the Compass Award. The Compass Award recognizes an adult Coach or Mentor who has provided outstanding guidance and support for a team throughout the year. There’s a lot of competition out there with great Compass Award nominees from teams with a lot of amazing people who give so much to so many youth in FIRST.  That’s what makes FIRST so wonderful!

But no one will ever compete for our gratitude, appreciation and respect for Mr. Paul Markun, Team Duct Tape’s Super Mentor since 2008, who will always be first in the minds and hearts of many team members and their families, whose lives he has touched, and continues to enrich, with his wisdom, insight and expertise.

Mr. Markun exemplifies Gracious Professionalism in all he does, and sets the bar high for Team Duct Members to follow his lead.  It is with great warmth, friendship and appreciation that we nominate Paul Markun for the Compass Award.

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Competition Time!

IMG_2680by Jacob Canon

On December 20th, 2014 at 7 am, Team Duct Tape arrived at the competition to set up our pit area and talk to other teams and learn what changes they made since their last competition.

Opening ceremonies were at 9:30 and all teams where required to attend. Directly after the opening ceremonies the team competed in the first match where we experienced technical problems with our servo that allows us to grab onto the rolling goals and tow it behind us so we can score, where we can clearly see the balls. We competed three more times before lunch and lost two matches that morning.

Lunch was at about 11:30 and the team had a tail gate party instead of going out and ordering food. We had hamburgers, some homemade mac and cheese, snacks, and a lot more. Right after the meal we went back to competing for four more matches.

At the end of the day we took third place and won the Think award for having the best engineering note book.

We had a great day and we can’t wait till the next match.

 

Off to Super Regionals

The Super Regional Championship in San Antonio, Texas is finally here and the whole team is excited to be packing up and heading west. Team Duct Tape is looking forward to judging, setting up, meeting new people, and having FUN!

Special thanks to Sumo Software for hosting a fun and exciting Game Night to raise help money for our trip to San Antonio. There were hot-dogs, snacks, beverages, and a variety of games provided that made the night a blast!

While preparing to travel, we were able to make tons of buttons to hand out at the competition with a tremendous amount of help from parents. We were also able to make more things out of duct tape swag, practice for judging, and both drive teams were able to sharpen their skills on the field. With only minor changes to the robot and presentation board, this past week has flown by.

We cannot wait for these next few days and we wish the best of luck and safe travels to all of the teams that are going to Super Regionals!