Garrett County Public School’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1629, GaCo, wrapped up its 2019 season last weekend at the FIRST Championship in Detroit with an overall 32-23-2 win/loss/tie record. The team also was selected as one of three finalists for the Championship “Chairman’s Award” among approximately seventy other FRC teams that qualified to compete for the award at the world level.
The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award in 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. GaCo qualified to compete for the Chairman’s Award at the World level as a result of being the recipient of the award at the District Championship level two weeks prior at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
GaCo wishes to congratulate FRC Team 1816, “the Green Machine” from Edina, Minnesota, for being the Chairman’s Award winner for the Detroit Championship, as well as FRC Team 5672, FIRST Nation-STEM from Ontario, Canada, for being named as the other Chairman’s Award finalist.
During the three day event, the team competed in ten qualification matches with a 6-4 record and ranked 27th among its subdivision of 58 teams. In all, 408 FRC teams representing fourteen different countries competed at the FRC Championship in Detroit. FRC was only one of four FIRST programs competing at the Detroit Championships. Two FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams from Garrett County competed in Detroit in their Championship as well, Team 9445, “Loading…” sponsored by GCPS/GaCo and the 4-H/GEARS sponsored team G-Force, Team 2818.
In addition to competing with the robot and for the Chairman’s Award, GaCo students also presented at the Championship’s FIRST Conference. The title of the presentation was “How to make your FIRST Team Valuable to Your School System”. According to a team spokesperson, “GaCo has found its niche as a leader in STEM education and integrating FIRST programs into the K-12 educational environment in order to ensure that all students emerge from elementary school STEM ready.” STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
GaCo will begin its 2020 season this week by conducting its STEM Waypoint Lessons to students at the Mountain Laurel Learning Center in Davis, West Virginia, on Tuesday and then presenting at the 2019 Common Ground Conference, a professional development conference targeting K-12 educators, in Ocean City on Thursday and Friday. For more information about FIRST or GaCo, please go to garrettcountyschools.org/frc1629
GaCo students awaiting the start of the finals and awards ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit. 1st row (left to right): Atlee Wise, Tia DeGiovanni, Lauren Derato, Sarah Smith, Cheyenne Reckart, and Roger Dixon. 2nd row: Jeremy Perando, Ava Rankin, Olivia Warne, Jasmine Beitzel, Katie Catulle, Sophia Maust, Kelli Catulle, Kristen Massey and Mariah Bolden. 3rd row: Noah Aiken, Matthew Hoover, Jacob Green, William Meagher, Ryan Harvey, Caleb Frazee, Dylan Pudlak, Kaelyn Glotfelty, and Jalen Beeman. Not present for picture: Jessica Storck, William Gearhart, Evan Lewis, Sara Manley, Parker Meyer, Tad Rodeheaver, Logan Mason, Owen Sealy, and Eunae Rodeheaver. Sarah and Lauren are holding the team’s mascot, Sticky.
Katie Catulle and Noah Aiken take a moment to teach one of GaCo’s STEM Waypoint lessons to two youngsters from Detroit who came as spectators to the event. GaCo students are ready at a moments notice to teach any of its grade-leveled standards-based lessons, whether to one or two students or an entire classroom. All of GaCo’s lessons are designed in response to its vision of “STEM Ready Kids.”
Three of GaCo’s Drive Team members operating the robot during a qualification match. They are competing at the World Championship level and are Garrett County proud! Left to right are Cheyenne Reckart, Lauren Derato, and Sarah Smith.
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