As my readers know, I've been coaching robotics teams in the U.S. First competitions for the past six years. (Our all-girls homeschool Jr. Robotics team, the LEGO Mountaineers, have earned top awards at several competitions.)  In that time, I've watched robotics go from being the side line geek activity to something very cool. (It's still a geek activity)

This year, Dean Kamen encouraged the FIRST Teams to get the word out that FIRST is a viable education program to encourage young people to pursue studies and even careers in science and technologies. Well the White House got the message, looked at the 15-year successful track record of the FIRST Robotics program and will be honoring the top team in each category on Monday at the White House. How cool is that?

To the FIRST Community:

We are thrilled to announce that three FIRST teams will be honored by President George W. Bush at the White House on Monday, April 30, 2007.  

Approximately one hundred students and mentors representing three of the top teams from the FIRST Community will meet with the President to share their experiences and achievements.  The teams, who received top honors at this month's FIRST Championship held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, are:
  • Team 365, the "Miracle Workerz" of MOE Robotics Group from Wilmington, Delaware who won the FIRST Robotics Competition 2007 Chairman's Award
  • Team 1677, "Access 9" from South Bend, Indiana who was awarded the 2nd Place FIRST LEGO League Champion's Award
  • Team 3053, "Occam's Engineers" from Mendham, New Jersey who received the FIRST Vex Challenge Inspire Award
FIRST Founder Dean Kamen, FIRST Chairman John Abele, FIRST President Paul Gudonis, NASA Program Executive for Solar System Exploration Dave Lavery, and key sponsors of this visit to Washington from BAE Systems, Boston Scientific, and General Motors, will join the teams at this celebration of their achievements.

Following the White House visit, the teams will attend a Congressional Reception hosted by Congressman Jim Langevin where they will give presentations, demonstrate their robots, and share their accomplishments with members of Congress.

thanks our good friend Congressman Langevin for his recognition and encouragement of FIRST over the years.  We appreciate this opportunity to recognize our Championship teams.

also thanks the following sponsors for their continued involvement as well as for their support of this event: BAE Systems, Boston Scientific, and General Motors.

With the competition season behind us, we are preparing to compete in a new competition that includes an "on-the-spot" event where the kids have 60 minutes to design, build, and program a robot to complete an assigned mission - with no coach or parents present. For this event., we invited two boys to join our team to encourage them to join a FIRST team. I'm busy coaching the kids now on strategy and problem solving skills. It should be fun. Selfishly, I wish Bruce, Michael, and I were all young enough to enter the event ourselves. Then I could go to the White House, too.

I'm very proud of our team and of all U.S. FIRST teams and I want to extend my congratulations to the teams and thanks to all of the coaches, mentors, and sponsors that make this possible.

Discussion/Comments (3):

Build a great robot, go to the White House!


Even if we had known eachother as kids my robot would have still won :-). My robot would have Gotten Things Done.

Posted at 04/28/2007 8:27:21 by Bruce

OK, Smarty Pants Elgort...

Bruce, I remind you of my open invitation for you to come down and spend a day with me in the Digital Sandbox.

Bring your Mindstorms kit and we'll see who can build a robot that can get things done.

If you need help, I'm sure any one of my daughter's would be happy to teach you how to build and program the robot.

Posted at 04/28/2007 22:10:37 by Eric Mack

Build a great robot, go to the White House!

LOL! I think Bruce needs to come to Eric's neck of the woods for sure. There's a lot of fightin' talk, but not mch fightin'...

Posted at 04/29/2007 13:16:59 by Ben Poole

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