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Documents | 2012 Chairmans Essay

2013 Chairman's Essay Response

Team 1912 Combustion ignites a bigger and better wildfire than ever before, exploding past all boundaries while never forgetting those who gave us our spark. Never satisfied with the status quo, we constantly strive to strengthen our FIRST community through media, alumni, partnerships, and events. After 8 years of nonstop innovation, we have illuminated everything from politics and education to parades and marshes with increased recognition for science and technology. Combustion never misses an opportunity to facilitate substantial change at the local and state level, expanding from merely participating in events to actively founding, organizing, and hosting them. 1912 outreach has always come with a bang, but in 2013 our persistence and innovation has paid off in the form of unprecedented change.

This year, Combustion has taken Louisiana politics by firestorm. In our 3rd year at the Louisiana Capitol Rotunda, 1912 met with Gov. Jindal and Rep. Pearson in the Governor's office after recognition on both the state Senate and House floors. Students and robot Thermite impressed numerous lawmakers, gaining invaluable partnerships to advocate STEM. We spoke and received proclamations at city, parish, and state levels, representing FIRST's growing public prestige. In a district PTA workshop, we demoed for teachers and school board officials, even taking part in their decision-making process as panel participants to herald real educational reform.

Within FIRST, 1912 has led exciting new efforts to strengthen FLL and JrFLL at all levels. To establish a FIRST progression of programs in Louisiana, we coordinated the JrFLL State Expo while volunteering for the concurrent FLL Competition. 1912 demoed 2 robots, manned the FLL fields, managed JrFLL registration, and reviewed for JrFLL's Expo, where 5 out of 7 teams were founded or mentored by 1912's Ignition Team. We supported JrFLL teams 391 and 392, ignited Team 393, and obtained funding for FLL Team 8606. After reviewing from 1912, JrFLL builders received unique awards for the first time ever at an Expo, further inspiring them to excel in FIRST. We hosted our 1st District Combustion Qualifier for 12 FLL teams, providing supplies, judges, and volunteers. To cap off a fiery year, we plan to bring our JrFLL kids to Bayou as an annual field trip.

Even as we expand into bigger projects, 1912 keeps old flames burning strong. Our 4th Jumpstart build continued as a welcoming technical foundation for rookie and veteran teams alike. After a full day of Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism, 1912 and co-hosts 2080, 1421, and 364 guided all 7 teams to assembled, driving chasses. Our spring and winter paintball parties provided bonding time for 6 local teams. FRC partnerships reached new heights with our contributions to 3132's 5th FIRST Step webcast and 3504's blog, Rookies FIRST. We hosted student and mentor National Instrument training sessions attended by 4 teams and over 20 mentors while addressing robotics concerns 24/7 as the Gulf Coast's FIRST helpdesk. To improve the FRC experience, we presented our 4th-year Beta Testing results in an open meeting, and circulated a sustainment plan on our website and to the FRC Regional Director. This year we mentored FRC's 4668 and 4265, and open our facilities to all FRC teams to foster experience with field pieces.

For the Louisiana Technology Council Robotics Revelry Gala black-tie benefit dinner, we will support the Bayou Regional and BLaST this March at the National WWII Museum, where 1912 will provide the student speaker and a robot demo. In 2012 we collaborated with the museum to plan their inaugural Robotics Challenge for 2013. In honor of National Engineers Week, we demoed robot Thermite for the New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Engineering Society. FRC field volunteering and webcasts for 1 Razorback and 3 Bayou competitions highlight our dedication to any FIRST job, big or small.

1912's resolution to put FIRST in the spotlight culminated in our new demo bot, PEDRO (Panther Engineering and Designed RObot), specialized to spark enthusiasm in wider audiences than ever before. The T-shirt shooting PEDRO has already starred in a Mardi Gras parade, a school Club Day and pep rally, and District and State FLL Competitions. Our reception of a Chevron grant during a Hornets halftime show elevated FIRST to center court, inspiring us to build crowd favorite PEDRO with the grant money. We championed STEM for tens of thousands at classic events like our 7th-year Heritage Fest and 3rd- year Krewe of Slidellians parade, and pioneered dazzling acts at new venues like the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station and a Girl Scout Camellia City demo. Traditional events like our 4th community Open House and 2nd Hospice Foundation Crawfish Cookoff spiced up FIRST with a local flavor, ensuring 1912's recognition as a regionally respected face of STEM.

1912 inspires old and young with the FIRST spirit, breaking limits this year with a burst of new camps and demos. We had a blast with future engineers at the inaugural Rocket Camp, designing the curriculum and teaching some 35 kids the basics of rocketry. At our 3rd CSI Science Camp, over 120 kids enjoyed science experiments and engineering projects with 1912 counselors at their side. Always willing to go the extra 452 miles to spark new minds, we traveled to Yazoo City, following FIRST's lead to demo with the local Boys and Girls Club. In a dark gym, Thermite sparked inspiration for STEM by launching FIRST basketballs alongside throngs of excited children and their families, who crowded around afterwards to marvel at our basketball star's insides. Because no one is out of our League, we accompanied our FLL teams to the bustling National AARP Convention, where we reached out to senior citizens with STEM. As the face of FRC in the Convention-designated FIRST booth, we discussed the impact of FIRST with the AARP president himself.

Our bonds with sponsors fuel the Combustion fire. We thank NASA, NRL, NDEP, QinetiQ, PWR, Jacobs, Gulf Coast Pain Institute, Sierra Lobo, Qualis, JETS, Textron, Ingalls Shipyard, New Orleans Hornets- Chevron, Signs Now, St. Tammany Parish School Board, and Northshore High School. 1912 expresses gratitude for our build space by catering an annual luncheon for QinetiQ. We visit sponsor workplaces with commemorative plaques at events like Stennis' and Michoud's Take Your Kid to Work Day. To honor our invaluable mentors, we treat them to appreciation luncheons and personalized plaques to keep them in the Combustion family even after they retire. 1912 alumni form another integral part of our family, returning to cheer us on and volunteer at competitions and demos. Our website tracks all alumni, 100% of whom attend college with 77% in STEM majors. Along with our website, 1912 utilizes a variety of media outlets including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and our local newspaper.

To spread the warmth of community service, our Torchbearers program kindles a tradition for giving back in the spirit of FIRST. 1912 volunteered at muddy Bayou Lacombe, marking 3 years of marsh restoration for our community's beloved wetlands. Meanwhile, our 8th annual cleanup beautified the city of Slidell. After 5 years of donating regional competition flooring to Habitat for Humanity, 1912 found a new hit in this year's gift of basketball goals. Students foster sustainability by conducting bake sales, ice cream sales, and art raffles. We amped up fundraising for donations to cherished causes like St. Jude's, FIRST friend Kevin Tremble, a cancer-stricken teacher's spouse, and Project Gratitude, our personal effort to comfort soldiers oversees. This holiday season, we set hearts alight in our 3rd-year collaboration with the Slidell Women's Civic Club, donating over $450 in Christmas presents for the financially disadvantaged children of our community.

The gift of learning is always in hot demand, to 1912's delight. Our 4th year Beta Testing team receives national acclaim, while our 2nd year SPHERES team advanced to Zero Robotics semifinals again. Such was our momentum that 1912 founded a Booster Club for financial independence from our high school's account. For wider FIRST interest, we made FRC a sport for students to earn varsity letters in, helped expand school engineering classes, and assisted with the curriculum for a robotics course next fall. We enrich the minds of our passionate and diverse members with summer website classes, plus CAD and animation training from past years. Combustion attracts 30% of members from ethnic minorities, while encouraging girls to excel in STEM with events like the Camellia City Girl Scouts demo. 7 of 8 Presidents have been women, inspired leaders who swell our 77% STEM major rate among alumni. 1912 eagerly rewards all its members, hosting annual pool parties with spoof awards to celebrate the end of every explosive season.

Setting the region ablaze with the spirit of STEM, 1912 knows that the people of our FIRST community ignite our brightest flames. We amplify FIRST's local impact with fiery demos from Mardi Gras parades to July 4th fests. Through strong connections, we spread enthusiasm with lawmakers, sponsors, charities, local organizations, alumni, social media fans, and mentors. 1912 warms old and young alike with our Ignition Team, Torchbearers, and FIRST Flames programs, ensuring that no one is too inexperienced or remote for us. We encourage future generations of scientists and engineers with Science and Rocket camps, exciting them with the chance to learn and give back in a FIRST Progression of Programs. 1912 has been climbing high since 2006, but in this year's Ascent, our sustainability and spirit has lit up a more influential and widespread community than ever before. By achieving significant change in the public perception of STEM, Team 1912 Combustion whizzes past all boundaries into the Ultimate FIRST future of infinite and exciting possibilities.

Nasa meatball NRL logo NDEP logo Sierra Lobo logo Qualis logo Northshore High Logo Signs Now logo STPSB Logo Huntington Ingalls Logo Textron Logo Jacobs logo AeroJet logo Gulf Coast logo Alliance Laser logo

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