Category Archives: STEM

A Cascade Effect of Fun & Success at the Florida FTC State Championship

Paul group

Celebrating Super Mentor Paul Markun!

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.

Ryder with Deans List Nomination

Dean’s List Award Semi-finalists

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.”

PaulAnd 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 umbrella head ducksupporters, 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

Go Teams!

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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.

Happy Holidays from FTC Team Duct Tape!

league championship We’ve had a great start to our 2014-15 FIRST Tech Challenge Season, finishing in 4th place in our ROBOT League after two meets that included a 2nd place award and a Think Award, and qualifying for the 1st League Championship at St. Leo University on January 10th. Marissa and Danielle

At our last meet, we came in third, and earned the Think Award, and generally had an awesome time.  We really enjoyed our Tailgate party on Saturday. This could be the start of a new tradition!

We send our very warmest best wishes for Happy Holidays to all sponsors and friends, and Tailgate party 2to all the teams and volunteers in the ROBOT League. We really value and deeply appreciate the immense volunteer time it takes to make our FIRST Tech Challenge experience possible, and so much fun! Thank you all!

Best wishes to everyone in 2015, and see you at the League Championship!