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
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.
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!