At the start of May, Indiana students from K - 12th grade would have competed on an international stage at the FIRST Championship in Detroit, Michigan as a celebration of the hard work, community impact, and technological feats the students accomplished. Instead, the season came to an abrupt halt in Mid-March due to the current crisis, and teams were unable to complete their season. To ensure the hard work of these students would not be overlooked, the FIRST robotics community rallied together and organized a Virtual Showcase to celebrate the achievements of their talented students, mentors, and volunteers and the impact they’ve made on their local communities.
One of the programs recognized in the Virtual Showcase was the FIRST Robotics Competition Program where under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students in 9th - 12th grades are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. Only thirty two teams out of fifty seven were able to compete in official district events this year as the season was suspended in the middle of competitions. The virtual showcase offered an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our teams, mentors, and volunteers including.
Frank Hobart, Lead Mentor of FRC team 2197, Las Pumas from New Prairie High School, New Carlisle, Indiana earned the 2020 Indiana Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for his outstanding mentorship.
FIRST Robotics Competition team 2197, Las Pumas from New Prairie High School, New Carlisle, Indiana earned the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the Perry Meridian District Event Sponsored by the University of Indianapolis.
Comments from the team included:
“Team 2197, Las Pumas, New Prairie High School Robotics, is very honored and humbled to have won this award. It is a testament to not only the 2020 team but also to the teams that came before. No one person can take credit for this award, but I would like to recognize my seniors who have endured the rough times and now get to bask in this success: (in no particular order) Sydney M., James G., Julia J., Skylar D., Bryan H., Zach T., Alex T., and Chris H. A special thank you to all of the 2197 mentors who guided the team along with our very loyal partners/sponsors. I would be remiss if I did not mention the New Prairie administration of Dr. White, Dr. Cannon, Mr. Holifield, Mrs. Sass, Mr. Scott, and Mr. (JP) and our parents who supported us through both good and not-so-good seasons and never gave up.”
The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the mission of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become science and technology leaders.
Congratulations to the students, mentors, and volunteers in our community who were recognized for their impact. FIRST is a robotics community that is building a better future and preparing our students for life. That is clear to see by the achievements listed here.