Team Duct Tape is super excited to be heading to the 2016-17 FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship in Davie, FL. It was a tough season, with nearly 200 teams competing statewide, so it was no easy feat to earn a spot in the top 28. In the end, we finished in 25th place, and now we’re gearing up for the Velocity Vortex State Championship at Dillard High School in Davie!
We’re also really excited about upcoming changes in 2017-18, when we move to our new home at Regency Park Library, where we’ll be meeting in the new makerspace under development there. We’ll be a sister team to FIRST Robotics Competition team 5276, the Edgar Allan Ohms, who will also be helping mentor our team. The association with the library system will provide a permanent home for Team Duct Tape, bring FIRST programming to youth in New Port Richey, and give Team Duct Tape members an opportunity to explore FIRST Robotics Competition as well.
Stay tuned for more on our new home. For now, we’ve got a Championship to get ready for!
Paul 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, and 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 watch 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 kindness, 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!
Our 7th season brought our 7th Florida FTC State Championship opportunity, and while we had challenges on the field, our teamwork was solid, and our robot proved reliable and robust, without a single mechanical problem throughout a hard day of competition.
Our design and quality engineering spoke for itself, earning TDT the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award for an “Innovative and Creative Robot design solution” that featured “elegant design, robustness and ‘out of the box’ thinking with regard to design” that was well documented in our Engineering Notebook.
Team member Ryder Fitzpatrick was a Dean’s List sem-finalist, a new award this year recognizing “the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students.”
And our very favorite part of the State Championship, hands down, was our Super Mentor Paul Markun being given the Compass Award. The Compass Award recognizes an adult Coach or Mentor who has provided outstanding guidance and support for an FTC Team throughout the year. Mr. Markun has done just that for the last 7 years, and we’re so glad he was recognized for being the exemplary human being that he is!
The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award earned us a spot at the FTC South Super Regional in San Antonio in March, which is a great honor, but we’re not sure yet whether we’ll attend.
It’s been a full, exciting and successful season, and we’re very grateful to all our wonderful supporters, mentors, family and friends who make it all possible, year after year! You’re what FIRST is all about!
Thank you from the bottom of our duct tape hearts!
Hearty congratulations to all the great teams who made it to the State Championship, and best wishes to those moving on to the Super Regional:
- Inspire Award Winner, Team 6433 Neutrinos
- Inspire Award 2nd place, Team 5070 N.U.T.S.
- Winning Alliance, 1st team selected Team 5257 Eagles Robotics Xperience
- Inspire Award 3rd place, Team 7477 Super 7
- Winning Alliance, 2nd team selected Team 8909 Robo Mojo
- Finalist Alliance Captain Team, 4997 Masquerade
- Connect Award Winner Team, 5937 Renaissance Robotics
- Finalist Alliance, 1st team selected Team 6451 Tarpon Robotics
- Finalist Alliance, 2nd team selected Team 6323 The Pink Team
- Motivate Award Winner, Team 3888 Greased Lightning