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Space Cookies Robotics Team Receives Three Awards

The Space Cookies For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Challenge (FRC) NASA Ames house-sponsored robotics team was awarded the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Orange County Regional competition March 9-12, cementing their eligibility to compete in the FRC Championship event in Houston, Texas, April 20-23. One of the Cookies, Alison Soong, was awarded Dean’s List Finalist at the Monterey Bay Regional competition March 24-26; and Susan Cheng, lead mentor for the Space Cookies FIRST team, was recognized with the celebrated Woodie Flowers Finalist Award at the same event.

BACKGROUND: NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project (RAP) is dedicated to increasing interest in engineering, technology, science, and mathematics disciplines among youth in the United States. RAP’s goal is to create an inspired, experienced, technical workforce for the aerospace community. Annual activities and events expose students to challenging applications of engineering and science. RAP supports national robotics competitions in which high school students team with engineering and technical professionals from government, industry, and universities to gain hands-on experience and mentoring. In fiscal year 2022, RAP sponsored 308 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams (approximately 8,000 students), 50 VEX robotics teams (approximately 500 students), and sponsored and/or supported 15 FIRST Robotics Competition events (affecting approximately 50,000 students).

The Space Cookies (Team 1868) are one of three NASA House teams supported out of Ames. The other two are The Cheesy Poofs (Team 254) and Spartan Robotics (Team 971). The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school or organization and community. FIRST Dean’s List status as either a Semi-finalist, Finalist or Winner, are great examples of current student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission while achieving personal technical expertise and accomplishment. The Woodie Flowers Award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. Dr. William Murphy founded this prestigious award in 1996 to recognize mentors within the FIRST Robotics Competition who lead, inspire, and empower using excellent communication skills. Dr. Murphy wanted to bring attention to the eloquent and effective communication skills of Dr. Woodie Flowers, so this award was created in his honor. Students may submit an essay nominating one mentor from their team to be considered for this award.

Events can be seen live and the March 30th – April 3rd events are located on the Week 5 menu tab. Be prepared to see some incredible robot designs and teamwork from the competition’s Alliances!

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Robotics Alliance Program

POINT OF CONTACT: Ann Patterson-Hine, ARC Robotics Alliance Program Representative, ann.patterson-hine@nasa.gov

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