Hamilton High School's Charger Robotics Team came away from FIRST regional competition held at the University of Minnesota April 1-3 with several team and individual awards including the highly coveted Chairman’s Award. It’s an award the team has sought for nearly 10 years – the highest honor given to a team, celebrating its overall effort, accomplishments and community involvement.
The Chairman’s Award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics competition on transforming the culture to inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology and encourage more youth to become scientists, engineers and technologists. Receiving the Chairman’s Award earned Hamilton the right to compete April 15-17 in Atlanta at the championship event.
The team also took home the Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award, which recognizes a team that since its inception has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage and obtain team objectives. Charger Robotics Team 537 was judged to display entrepreneurial enthusiasm and the vital business skills for a self-sustaining program. It was the seventh time in its history as a team that Charger Robotics earned this award.
In addition, an individual award went to senior Matthew Kline who was named to the Dean’s List for student achievement. FIRST Dean’s List Award winners are considered to be student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission. Kline was selected based on his interest in and passion for a long-term commitment to FIRST and its ideals, overall individual contribution to his team, technical expertise and passion and entrepreneurship and creativity.
Some 66 Hamilton students are involved in Charger Robotics, which is supported by QuadTech, Rockwell Automation and GE Healthcare through financial donations and employee mentors. The team is advised by Hamilton teacher Lori Hinytz and co-advised by parent volunteer Kari Woods.
FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – was founded in 1992 by Inventor Dean Kamen to encourage students to consider careers in science and technology. The FIRST Robotics competition now features more than 1,800 teams from around the world, 44 regional events and a 344-team championship in Atlanta.