Imagine a competition of ideas, imagination, business, and engineering that instills these virtues in your future employees and colleagues. This is what FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is all about. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, entrepreneur and inventor of the Segway, and the insulin pump. Dean has been a tireless advocate for science and technology and continually works on designing accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.
FIRST Robotics Team 2539, the Krypton Cougars, began at the Palmyra Area High School in 2008. Each year, teams of High School students and mentors from around the world, have six week to brainstorm, design, build, program, and test a robot to play a specified game prior to competitions. See what we do at www.facebook.com/FIRSTTeam2539. FIRST teaches many valuable skills needed for both business and engineering. Not only must students design and build a robot, they must be innovators, leaders and work as team. Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. They avoid treating anyone like losers. No chest thumping tough talk, but no sticky-sweet platitudes either. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended. In the long run, Gracious Professionalism is part of pursuing a meaningful life. One can add to society and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing one has acted with integrity and sensitivity.
The Krypton Cougars will be attending two Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Competitions in 2014, and hopefully advance to the Regional Championship. Our budget is $15,000 which includes $5,000 annual registration fee, Robot parts and equipment, materials, and tools but also cost for the build location and travel expenses. Advancing to the Regional
Championship, which we accomplished for the first time in 2013, requires an additional $6000.00. In 2013 we did not have the funds for this, and had to file for an emergency grant from the Mid-Atlantic Region to allow our team to compete. All funds come from the generous corporate sponsorship and contributions from local businesses. In 2013, we lost a major sponsorship that originally sponsored the team for $5,000/year, therefore, we are actively pursuing other sponsors and avenues of fundraising.
Because funds are limited, various build sites have been utilized since the inception of the team. A local church donated space for several years, than the team moved to donated retail space for one year, and then donated warehouse space for one year. Most recently, the team moved to the Palmyra Area High School, however the space is insufficient and accessibility to the school is a problem. Presently, we are pursuing a more permanent build site, either on school property or if the funds were available, space could be rented. Most FIRST teams do not have to find a new build site every year and not having a permanent build site has definitely affected off season learning opportunities and growth of the team. We have been unable to compete in off season events due to lack of funding. Boxes and totes of tools and supplies have been stored in volunteers’ basements and sheds in between moves. The need is for a permanent site.
While we are asking for monetary donations, the team would greatly benefit from any amount. A multi-year grant would enable the team to meet our goals, along with donations from other donors. Donations should be received prior to January 31, 2014. Monetary donations should be made payable to ‘Palmyra Area High School’ with Krypton Cougars Robotics Team on the memo line or indicated on the check. Mail to: Palmyra Area High School, Attn: Tawnyah White, Krypton Cougars Robotics Team, 1125 Park Dr, Palmyra, PA 17078.
Support of FIRST Team 2539 allows the students of today to be the science, engineering, and business leaders that in the future will find the cure for cancer, create energy independence, clean the environment, and provide healthy food and clean water to everyone in the World. We very much appreciate your consideration in making a donation to The Krypton Cougars.
Sincerely, FIRST Robotics Team 2539
The Krypton Cougars
Palmyra Area High School