• Central Valley Regional Recap

    Congratulations to ALL Teams, Mentors, Volunteers, Sponsors, Friends and Family members who participated in the Central Valley Regional and helped to create an exciting and memorable weekend.  What a show!

    The following teams and individuals earned top honors at the Regional and will be going on to compete at the Championships in St. Louis in April.  We wish them the best of luck!

    Regional Chairman’s Award
    Team 1323, MadTown Robotics – Madera, CA

    The Central Valley Chairman’s Award represents the true spirit of FIRST.  It honors the team that best serves as a model for other teams to emulate and that embodies the goals of FIRST.  It remains FIRST’s most prestigious team award.  The Chairman’s Award is presented to the team judged to have the most significant measurable impact of its partnerships among its participants, school, and community over a sustained period, not just a single build season or school year. The winner is able to demonstrate progress towards FIRST’s mission of transforming our culture.  The recipient will be invited to the FIRST Championship where it will compete for the Chairman’s Award against the winners from all the other qualifying events.

    Here’s what the Judges had to say –

    “Central Valley FIRST Robotics is successful because of veteran teams that step up to help with the work to develop FIRST in a new area. This year’s winner is one of those anchoring teams. They have developed strong community partnerships including working with law enforcement in designing a robot for training in rough terrain. This team shows gracious professionalism to others both nationally and internationally by manufacturing machine parts to assist in the building of robots. This team was instrumental in bringing a regional robotics competition to the central valley. They have continued to develop Central Valley “FIRST” Robotics by co-sponsoring an off season event. They use this off-season event to introduce FIRST to rookie teams. This team truly demonstrates the core values of FIRST. Congratulations to Team 1323 – MadTown Robotics!”

    Regional Winners
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    Team 295, Renevatio
    Granite Bay, CA

    Team 840, Aragon Robotics
    San Mateo, CA

    Team 1678, Citrus Circuits
    Davis, CA


    Woodie Flowers Finalist Award

    Dr. Devin Blizzard
    Mentor for Team 1422, The Neon Knights – Fresno, CA

    Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.14.46 AMA few years after helping Dean Kamen create FIRST, Dr. William Murphy founded the Woodie Flowers Award with the intent to celebrate effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. At the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, the essays of this year’s finalists will be combined with previous finalists. One mentor will receive the Championship Woodie Flowers Award.

    Dr. Blizzard had such a profound impact on the Central Valley over the past 15 years that two teams, Team 1422 The Neon Knights and Team 1671 The Buchanan Bird Brains nominated him for the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. You can read their essay here.

    Dr. Blizzard’s reflections on the Competition –

    “Today we had a most memorable time at CV Regional FIRST Robotics Competition! I graciously thank all of my colleagues / students who nominated me.  

FRC and FLL have provided me the unique honor of community building and getting to be part of so many kids’ lives over the last 15 years in both Silicon Valley and Central Valley.”

    Dean’s List Finalist: Honoring FIRST Student Superstars
    FIRST Dean’s List Finalist #1 – Ofri Harlev, Team 4159 – San Francisco, CA
    FIRST Dean’s List Finalist #2 – Gurtinder Chahal, Team 1323  – Madera, CA

    In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding FRC students, the Kamen family sponsors an award for selected top students known as the FIRST Dean’s List. This award celebrates a student’s outstanding leadership and effectiveness in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as their community. FIRST Dean’s List Finalists will compete at the championship for the FIRST Dean’s List.

    Engineering Inspiration
    Team 1671, Buchanan Bird Brains  – Clovis, CA

    The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community.  This team will advance to the Championships and receive a $5000 grant toward registration.

    Additional Awards
    Congratulations to the Teams and individuals that earned the remaining 17 awards at the Central Valley Regional! See the list here.

    FIRST Impressions
    Throughout each day, we saw numerous first hand examples of FIRST values and qualities – Gracious Professionalism, Coopertition, Critical Thinking, Team Work and Leadership to name a few.  One story of many that we’d like to share is a great example of how engineering skills combined with critical thinking, team work, professionalism, the ability to work well under pressure and support from mentors and volunteers saved the day.

    IMG_0265Things got really hot during Match 35 when Team 1422’s spike for their compressor malfunctioned and ignited.  The students handled the situation with the utmost grace and professionalism and managed to replace the spike in 15 minutes and 48 seconds (they timed it!) and did not miss a single match. Luckily, due to the location of the spike, nothing else on their robot was damaged.  We hear they intend to frame the burned spike.

    Their mentor shared this with us –

    “Overall, this has been the most memorable experience for our team; it has really motivated and inspired my students. We could not be more thankful for all of the highs and lows for today. We really would like to thank all of the inspectors and officials that helped us diagnose and save our robot. We owe them all of our victories. Without those volunteers, who knows what could have happened.”

    Share Your Stories!
    We hope you too had a profound experience at the Central Valley Regional.  We’d love to hear your stories.  Please consider sharing them with us here in the comments below or on our facebook page.  Photo and video links welcome!