Team Duct Tape was honored to be selected to represent FIRST Tech Challenge at this week’s Elliott Masie Learning 2011 Conference in Orlando. TDT students joined Exploding Bacon’s FRC team and FLL Team Party Boss in a fantastic day that included an opportunity to meet with FIRST founder Dean Kamen, in the morning, along with FIRST Vice Chairman John Abele (who received the Masie Learning Center’s Lifetime Learner Award) and FIRST president Jon Dudas.
Later, all the FIRST students went on stage with Dean and Elliott Masie to talk a bit about FIRST and to see FIRST awarded a $25,000 Learning Gives Back Grant from Masie Learning. And then the rest of the day was spent sharing FIRST with conference attendees, and enjoying some of the fantastic sessions. We stayed long enough to enjoy a storytelling session with actor John Lithgow, too, which was the icing on the cake of a really amazing day!
Tonight some of our students head out to the ASME-Florida West Coast Section November meeting,in Dunedin, to join up with FRC Team Thundercats to talk about this season’s challenge and FIRST in general. We’re really looking forward to it!
That and eventually getting our robot done!
The highlight of the evening was meeting FIRSTpresident Jon
Dudas and astronaut Leland Melvin, both of whom spent time with students and signed autographs – in the case of Jon Dudas, on everything from team shirts to team members foreheads!
It was a great opportunity for teams to showcase their work and introduce FIRST to the business community. For many in attendance, it was their first introduction to the FIRST STEM program. They examined robots big and small, browsed through engineering notebooks, looked at CAD designs, watched team videos and heard first-hand from students, who sent a clear and powerful message that FIRST ROCKS! And it also churns out some incredibly accomplished young engineers!