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.
by Marissa Schiereck
Guess what we did this month? On Tuesday December 16th Team Duct Tape (TDT) could be found at Sickles High School. There we met the “Girls Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Club”. TDT demonstrated this year’s robot for the club and spread the love of robotics.
Team Duct Tape had a blast demonstrating our robot completing tasks and field elements to the girls. Thanks to TDT’s own Daniele Mendez, a Sickles student and the vice president of the Girls STEM Club, this exhibition was able to happen. This was originally an outreach for the club, BUT many other students and teachers were interested in our robot. For one of the STEM club members, it was her first time driving a robot and she enjoyed driving it up and down the hall.
Team Duct Tape was even able to meet the president of the Girls STEM Club and learn that a few of the members plan to work in the robotics field. There was one member, Alyssa, who seem very interested in FTC. We invited her to our next competition, and hope to see her soon!
We want to thanks Sickles High School, and the Girls Stem Club for hosting us and letting us share the JOY of FTC robotics with other teens.
It’s a new year, a new challenge (Cascade Effect!) and we’ve got a new team member, Michael, making us 11 strong this year.
Since we really didn’t stop meeting all summer long, it wasn’t too hard to get back into the swing of things for our 7th season. We started off our first “official” meeting at the Hive, at the John F. Germany Library, where we’ve been pretty active all summer.
Recent outreach efforts include helping out at the Hive open houses, FIRST training days, and, last week, providing demos and information about FIRST to the Tampa chapter of IEEE-RAS
We’ve got a pretty tight competition schedule here in Florida, with the League system and the South Super Regional between the State Championship and the FIRST Championship. So once meets start we expect the season to fly!