FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is making a positive impact at Saint Francis High School. The school’s team, Mechanical Masterminds (M2), recently enjoyed exceptional success receiving the prestigious “Rookie All-Star” award at the Medtronic Foundational Regional Robotics Competition at the Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota on March 30 and 31.
This award celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology.
The team’s robot, named Patricia (PAT), was well-respected by judges and spectators for the remarkable performance against 60 teams on the playing field. However, FIRST Robotics is about much more than building a robot. To be a successful in FIRST Robotics competitions, the Mechanical Masterminds demonstrated their community outreach and support, leadership, and team spirit. In addition, they provided their vision for strengthening the value of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, extending the message that technology is fun, challenging, and provides fantastic career opportunities.
The perseverance of this young team is amazing. Upon receiving the Rookie All-Star award, they learned of their advancement to the 2018 FIRST Robotics World Competition in Detroit, Michigan on April 25-28. Along with this honor, the team quickly realized the associated expenses for registration and travel for this unique opportunity. Within the first week, the Mechanical Masterminds received donations to cover half the expenses needed from industry sponsors who were impressed with their performance. In the coming weeks, these young students are hopeful more community and business partners will sponsor this team and the vision to sustain more STEM opportunities in St. Francis. In turn, sponsors gain community reputation and visibility. Together, this partnership creates a pipeline for future employees, provides employee volunteer opportunities, renews inspiration for company engineers, and provides leadership development opportunities.
Many thanks to these current sponsors of the Mechanical Masterminds: St. Francis Area Schools, Medtronic, Delta Modtech, Donatelle Medical, MSD Engineering, St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce, Mechatronic Solutions, Northland Screw Products, Bepex, The Courier, and Minuteman Press of Ham Lake.
To follow their progress, “Like” and “Follow” their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SFHS7068Robotics/. Watch for community information events and a special performance with the robot on June 8, 2018 at the St. Francis Pioneer Days.