Preuss Robotics Team Bests 51 in Winning Highest ?FIRST?Award

4.12.2005 – The Preuss robotics team, sponsored by the UCSD division of Calit2, won the Chairman’s Award at last weekend’s Southern California FIRST regional competition.

The team was selected from among 52 teams for this honor, which qualifies them for the National Championship April 21-23 in Atlanta, Georgia. There they will compete against 29 teams out of an original field of almost 1,000 teams.

Rob Mainieri, Preuss mathematics teacher and chairperson of Preuss’ “The Midnight Mechanics” team, says, “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Calit2, which helped us achieve this success. We’re also very interested in corporate sponsorship to leverage this win to position us as competitively as possible for the nationals.”

The Preuss School UCSD is a charter school on the edge of the UCSD campus for students in grades 6-12 from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Students in the robotics club are mentored by UCSD undergraduates.

This award is one of several accomplishments garnered by the Preuss club. Most recently, a few Preuss teams competed head to head against undergraduates as part of an undergraduate robotics course earlier this year, with one team reaching the semi-finals.

Winning team
The winning Preuss team

The mission of FIRST is to change the way America’s young people regard science and technology and to inspire an appreciation in them for the real-life rewards and career opportunities in these fields. Therefore, it’s about much more than the mechanics of building a robot or winning a competitive event.

The Chairman’s Award was created to highlight the central focus of FIRST on transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encourage more of today’s youth to become scientists, engineers, and technologists. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and which best embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST. It is the most prestigious team award that the FIRST competition presents.

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