Although the 2020 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIRST® is still moving forward with some of the awards. This means that Team 1073 is still actively involved in some aspects of this otherwise missing season.
One of the awards that is still being judged is the Dean’s List award, which “celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.” Each year, every FIRST® Robotics Competition team may nominate two candidates, typically Juniors, who the team feels most meets that criteria. The team mentors then write a short submission essay about those students. In a typical season, the students are judged at regional and district competitions that they attend. For this year, the team did not have to physically attend the events they were registered for in order to be judged due to extenuating circumstances of the pandemic. In the District model, like New England, two students from each competition are selected to move forward to be judged at their District Championship event. At each of the District Championship events, six students are selected to move forward to the World Championships, where 10 students are chosen to receive the Dean’s List Award for that year.
This year, Team 1073 nominated Juniors Katie Ferdinand and Katherine Jesse as our two candidates. Both have been involved in FIRST® robotics for a long time, are outstanding students and outstanding people, and are team leaders, so they were both strong candidates. They would have been interviewed at the New England North Shore District event that we were scheduled to attend in March 2020 but, of course, that wound up being cancelled along with the rest of the season. However, FIRST® was able to do the interviews via video conferencing and selected the two winners from the event, one of which was our own Katherine Jesse! Needless to say, we are all very proud of Katherine.
Katherine has already been interviewed in the second round, along with 22 other students from across New England. The New England District winners are expected to be announced next week.
Team 1073 is still active during this time of crisis and we are all rooting for Katherine!