Category Archives: Learning & Education

Team Duct Tape Hosts Open House August 18 at New Port Richey Library, 1pm to 3pm

On Saturday, August 18, from 1pm to 3pm, FIRST Tech Challenge Team Duct Tape will be hosting a Library Robotics Teams Open House at Regency Park Branch Library , in New Port Richey, FL.  FIRST LEGO League Jr. Team LEGO Pros, which also meets at Regency Park Library, will also be on hand showcasing what they do.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. LEGO Pros has room for two to three students ages 6-9.  Team Duct Tape is a middle and high school level team, that currently has opening for 5-6 students.

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TDT Launches YouCaring Campaign for Mentor Paul Markun

Paul groupPaul Markun, who recently received the Compass Award at the Florida FTC State Championship for his support of our community based FIRST youth robotics team for more than seven years, has come into financial difficulties and is in danger of losing his workshop. He’s given so much to us over the years, that we want to do something for him, and we’ve launched a YouCaring Campaign fundraiser to help him keep his doors open.

Paul spent hundreds of hours after work and on weekends showing students the finer aspects of metrology (the science of measurement), elegant engineering design and build practices, andlearning about the lathe proper tool use, as well as providing invaluable training and experience in the use of large and sophisticated machine tools to which students would otherwise never have had access.

Paul never said no to our team members – not when business was good and he was very busy, and not when business fell off. He never said no when he felt well, and could have been off doing other things, nor when he broke his shoulder and had other health problems and could have used some peace and quiet. Always he was there for our youth, in person, on the phone and by email. He came to events to cutting carefullywatch them compete and watched Livestreams when they traveled for competitions.

Throughout all this time, Paul never once asked for help for anything, not even when things got really bad. So we have stepped forward to offer it.  We want to give back to Paul for all his years and hundreds of hours of Paulkindness, support and guidance, and we are asking you to help us help our friend and mentor.

Please visit our YouCaring page to learn more and Pay It Forward For Paul!

Thank you for helping us help a great mentor!

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.