Dear FIRST® Robotics Competition Teams,

I am writing to share the hugely disappointing news that, as a result of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and at the direction of our host, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the New York Tech Valley Regional on March 11-14 has been postponed out of an abundance of caution and with the health and safety of our community in mind. The new dates for the New York Tech Valley Regional have not yet been set.

We recognize that teams have put an enormous amount of work into preparing for this event and we regret having to share such disappointing news. FIRST® team support can help your team identify alternative events and can be reached at customerservice@firstinspires.org.

As Regional Director, this is difficult news for me to share. I was looking forward to seeing you all, watching you compete and hearing your stories of challenges and success. I know that you are frustrated. I know that you have questions. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are all doing our best to make decisions that are in everyone’s best interest both on and off the field of play. I promise that I will share information with you as it is shared with me.

Keep building. Keep learning. Keep meeting. Keep inspiring.

Best,

Janice Martino Regional Director, FIRST®

  #NYTechValleyFRC  Like us on Facebook

Please click on each award to see the transcript of the announcement preceding the presentation of the award.

The New York Tech Valley 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 purpose and goals of FIRST.

The Chairman’s Award is presented to the team judged to have the most significant measurable impact of its partnerships among its participants and community over a sustained period, not just a single build season. The winner is able to demonstrate progress towards FIRST’s mission of transforming our culture. The recipient team will be invited to a FIRST Championship where it will compete for the Chairman’s Award against winners from other qualifying events.

This year’s recipient has demonstrated a comprehensive and balanced approach to implementing the FIRST philosophy through their dedication and commitment to many diverse activities which contribute to their own and FIRST’s overall successes.

It’s clear this team has developed a very strong relationship with its school administration which has led to the integration of FIRST-inspired curriculum into its classes and the addition of a robotics class. They have also gained formal recognition of FIRST as an accomplishment worthy of the same recognition as other varsity teams.

This year’s winner shines when it comes to mentoring other teams at all levels. At the youngest level, they sponsor and mentor 7 Junior FLL teams every year, ranging from local teams to a small, rural farming village in Ireland. At the FRC level, they go out of their way to help other FRC teams by running off-season events, and sharing their robot, meetings, equipment, and materials. Their generosity and enthusiasm is contagious!

Their close and longstanding relationship with their sponsors has resulted in numerous internships, scholarships and even jobs. With 6 mentors currently serving in the military, they are particularly attuned to the needs of veterans and the military community which shines through in their Stars for Heroes program. Their 32 student members contributed over 12,000 hours of community service impacting over 10,000 people in just this past year!

This year’s Chairman’s Award goes to a team that has built on their love of FIRST and their vision of a "Village of Friends" to create a strong and sustained impact at home and around the world.

Congratulations Team 3044, 0xBE4 from Ballston Spa, New York!

FIRST Dean’s List Finalists are outstanding passionate student leaders who demonstrate exemplary effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals.

They were nominated by their teams for their direct contributions and impact on others –exemplifying leadership and commitment, on the team and in their community. FIRST Dean’s List Finalists, recognized here today, are also our nominees for the FIRST Dean’s List at the Championships.

I will announce the names one at a time…

Our first Dean’s List Finalist is someone who has very high standards for teamwork. Leadership, dedication and outstanding communication skills have led to this individual becoming team CEO. What a journey since starting with First Lego, years ago! With positive drive and determination, this finalist helped the team to expand its reach nationwide.

This leader’s attitude exudes confidence in the power of teamwork and the strength of gracious professionalism. She cares genuinely for the development of her team, while continuing to invest in her own leadership development. We wish her good luck for her summer internship at Harvard.

Congratulations to the first FIRST Dean’s List Finalist

Stephanie Walters, the CEO of Team 4083, the Iron Wolverines from Dorchester, South Carolina!

Our second Dean’s List Finalist is someone who has stated "I want to be a FIRST mentor . . . wherever I am", as a way of giving back. This individual is a passionate and tireless ambassador for FIRST. He embraces and lives the lessons of gracious professionalism and his enthusiasm motivates teammates to harness the power of fun and positivity as a success tool. And in a lesson for all of us about Leadership, this person motivated and led his team to success, despite losing their school workspace and access to many tools just prior to this year’s build.

Congratulations to the second FIRST Dean’s List Finalist:

Parker Fields from Team 250, the Dynamos from Colonie, New York!

The Rookie All-Star 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. This is not an easy challenge for a rookie team but the judges want to recognize and reward one team that got it right.

This school embodies these values by teaching programming to others.

They host competitions to provide other schools the opportunity to learn about robotics and compete.

They mentor middle school students and other younger students to develop an interest in science & engineering and teach them about teamwork.

They reach out to the community to provide solutions that assist persons with disabilities.

I’m not sure if their BB8 fortune telling robot picked this future.

So you can tell our choice was not murky.

Congratulations Team 6459, AG Robotik!

The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s community. Inspiring others to respect science and technology requires passion, knowledge and commitment; FIRST celebrates these qualities by presenting its Engineering Inspiration Award.

The Winner of this award will have their 2017 Championship Registration fee sponsored by NASA.

This team has formed a strong partnership within their school & community to promote science & technology.

They make extensive use of social media to build awareness, and have integrated with the Police Athletic League to deliver programs.

They lead free summer camps focused on technology to develop interest in younger kids. Finally, they are helping to teach robotics in middle school.

Congratulations Team 5123, Mechadogs!

The remaining Awards are all awards which qualify the award-winning teams for the Championships in April.

First, the New York Tech Valley FIRST Regional Champions.

This alliance rose to the challenge of FIRST STEAMworks and can now hang a Winner’s banner from their airship.

Please join us in celebrating their achievements.

Congratulations to the Alliance Captain, Team 333 and their partners: Team 2791 and Team 5952!

Regional Finalist celebrates the alliance that makes it to the final match of the competition. FIRST recognizes the talent of these outstanding competitors. They were sensational and we are proud to honor them.

Congratulations to the Alliance Captain, Team 3624 and their partners: Team 4508 and Team 4458!

I believe we are on to our last award and I ask the previous Woodie Flowers winners come out and join me. I'll ask that each announce their name, their team and when and where they won it.

Paul Kane, Team 20, UTC Regional, 2006
Sandra Brino, 195, 2014 New England District Championship
Mark Koors, Team 45, 2007 Boilermaker
Larry Ruff, Teams 20 and 1493, WPI Regional 2013
Mark McLeod, 2008 Long Island Reginoal, Team 358
Pat Hughes, Team 3137, SBPI Regional on LI 2006
Paul Schock, Team 1493, 2014 New York Tech Valley

So, for this year the Woodie Flowers Award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. Dr. William Murphy founded the award in 1996 to recognize mentors who are strong leaders and who inspire and empower using excellent communciation skills to help their student team members understand the challenges, opportunities and satisfaction involved in the disciplines of engineering and design. For 2017 FIRST recognizes one mentor at each Regional and one mentor from each District championship with the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. At the FIRST Championship in April, one mentor will be selected from this year's Finalists and the renominated prior year Finalists will be presented with the 2017 Champion Woodie Flowers Award. Each Woodie Flowers Award Finalist will receive a blue banner for their to team to display. The judges panel believes the blue banner emphasizes the importance of partnership between students, mentors and everyone who is part of FIRST.

Here's what the student essay had to say about the New York Tech Valley Regional mentor:

This mentor has been referred to as the "go to" person for advice on anything about FIRST. She goes above and beyond to create an environment where science and technology are recognized and celebrated. Always finding ways to do more, this 15 year mentor was an integral part of the formation of this very Regional, a highly regarded and competitive Regional. That's what the team said. One student was quoted as stating, "she challenged me to take on tasks I wasn't quite comfortable with and showed me there was a spot for me as a female engineer." This mentor has been a role model for hundreds of students as she cultivates a positive team culture that champions gracious professionalism and teamwork. Her leadership and commitment to FIRST has shaped their team and the Tech Valley into the prominent institutions they are today.

And I am very pleased and honored and I ask you to join me in congratulating the New York Tech Valley Regional Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner Rose Barra of Team 20!

The Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories celebrates a team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards. The winning team consistently demonstrates excellence in safety through the heat of competition.

They stand up against danger every day
And never let anything get in their way
This team never lets safety slack
And even helps Rookies in what they might lack
They are always thinking outside the box
Their safety plan is as strong as an ox
So let’s everyone give a big roar
As we give it up for OxBE4!

Congratulations Team 3044, OxBE4!

The Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. Their product and process reflect the mission of FIRST, by demonstrating sound technology development from start to finish.

The winner of this award has built a robot that successfully addresses the on-field challenges of Steamworks.

From the start, the design focused on integrated system functionality while building a robust and serviceable robot.

Game speed can be hard on robots and this team’s bot has handled the rigors of competition extremely well due to their planning and design efforts.

Congratulations Team 2791, Shaker Robotics!

During the course of the competition, the judging panel encounters teams whose unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition yet do not fit into any of the existing award categories. Today, the judges have defined the following special award as a Judges’ Award for one such deserving team.

This team uses Robotics to transcend conventional ideas thru problem solving, engineering, and innovation.

They harness technology to incite progress in their neighborhood & to make life better for others, people & animals alike.

They designed & 3D printed a harness for a disabled dog & have sent 100+ hands to disabled children thru the e-nable organization.

Congratulations Team 3624, Thundercolts!

The Rookie Inspiration Award sponsored by National Instruments celebrates a rookie team for outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers in their community.

In a small school,
a Main Street building is cool.

From a school dedicated to sport,
attention to STEM might be short.

Their FIRST program has me floored,
a boarding school where no one is bored.

Their Robotics Team is better than good
in Lake Placid, it’s NORTHWOOD!

Congratulations Team 6300, Northwood School Robotics!

Highest Rookie Seed Award: This award celebrates the highest seeded rookie team at the conclusion of the qualifying rounds.

Congratulations Team 6300, Northwood School Robotics!

The Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives.

A single mentor, a small community, an inspiration.

Encouraging creativity in the dark, adding mentors and sponsors, counting every bolt & screw.

Rewriting history and revolutionizing the future.

Reminding boys and girls they can be champions, too.

Congratulations Team 4083, Iron Wolverines!

The Team Spirit Award sponsored by FCA Foundation recognizes extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork.

This team worked diligently to overcome a ho-hum 2016 season. This year they pulled together & brainstormed with other area teams to step up the robot’s performance.

They keep the school informed through the school newspaper and regular presentations.

The team has helped establish a new team in the area and runs a LEGO Robotics camp for the next generation.

Their community involvement includes helping at soup kitchens & can drives.

The Team Spirit Award award goes to the team with the “can do” attitude….

Congratulations Team 4203, RoboKronos!

The Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi celebrates an elegant and advantageous machine feature. The team that wins this award must be able to describe as well as demonstrate the chosen machine feature.

Gears that go on the floor
are not a challenge anymore.

A titanium ramp to point
An articulated turret joint

Four-bar linkage pins
Load fuel into a large bin

A fuel tank that expands for the motherlode
With an extensive autonomous mode

It moves in the arena with great might

Congratulations Team 195, CyberKnights!

The Gracious Professionalism® Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson recognizes outstanding sportsmanship and continuous gracious professionalism, in the heat of competition, both on and off the field of play. To win, a team must exemplify the principles of FIRST – fairness, humility, sharing, and persevering – and a winning attitude.

This team has thrown a life buoy to teams near & far.

Their preparedness & knowledge is exemplary.

They are widely known as "the place to go" for assistance.

This year, the judges were overwhelmed with the number of nominations for this team.

Congratulations Team 20, The Rocketeers!

The Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox celebrates creativity in design, use of components, or unique strategy of play.

The judges were impressed with the creativity that this team used when building their robot.

Incorporating a creative feature, they found success having their lifting mechanism pivot up prior to lifting the entire machine.

This robot is no "Deer in the Headlights"

Congratulations Team 5952, RoBuck!

The Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation celebrates machine robustness in concept and fabrication. The winning team demonstrates these characteristics in many ways from planning through execution. Building the robot is only part of their success and the judges recognize them as a quality example to others.

Quality of modular design, conformance to machine specifications, and adherence to six-sigma principles are key attributes of successful projects.

Outstanding documentation captures team learning and enables continuous improvement.

For their demonstration of world-class quality of design and execution.

BRAVO!

Congratulations Team 6024, R Factor!

The Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components to provide unique machine functions.

Lessons of robots from the past,
help this team understand what is needed to go fast.

To meet this mission,
the team built a two-speed transmission.

Auto-shifting on the fly,
their controls help the airship reach the sky.

The blue & orange made some steam,
and built an awesome team.

Congratulations Team 333, Megalodons!

The Imagery Award is in honor of Jack Kamen. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance.

This 5-person team is not a spineless mass of jelly. They came here to learn technology, have fun, and win the war.

They spread the word of FRC to their agricultural school, numerous open houses, science fairs, and even global sponsors.

Bold, striking lines of black, white, and orange reflect their pride, discipline, organization, and consistent devotion to the principles of FIRST.

With laser-like precision, congratulations Team 5236, Man-O-War Robotics!

For the Volunteer of the Year Award, this goes to an individual who participated as a Mom. now she's a Mom to all of us, the New York Tech Valley family. Now you're probably wondering, what is she talking about? Well, this individual makes sure that the mentor lounge is filled with goodies and beverages. She takes care of the teams, by that I mean, she coordinates all the food orders to keep everyone well fed and energized. In addition she plans the team social. From what I understand it's a great hit and she told us one year what goes on at the team social stays at the team social. This year it's sold out, there'll be 500 people participating, so I hope you'll all have fun. In addition, she bakes for the Regional Planning Committee. By the time we get there after work we're starved, so she takes care of us. We're going to miss the homemade baked banana bread, but we're very grateful that she's going to conference on because she's relocating to continue to do the team food orders.

Please join the Regional Planning Committee in congratulating Lisa Castaldo on the Volunteer of the Year Award!

I would like to take one moment to recognize someone that kind of fell outside the scope of the Volunteer award but it is very important to recognize at this time. We have what I like to call the Key Cog Award. We saw some people here that had gears in their hats and things. You guys know how gear boxes work. What happens if you take out a gear right in the middle of that drive train? What does the drive train do? Nothing! Sometimes there's always one key cog that enables this whole thing to come together and operate. And this person is the winner of our Key Cog Award. Braving the blizzard, bolting things up and beeping them out, this unbelievable person made themselves be available at a bit of notice to get our field together just in time for our competition. Thank you so much and please join us up on the field, Mr. Mark McLeod.

Thank you very much Mark we really appreciate you!