Team: 4176 – Iron Tigers (jcpenney/Roche Bros/Walmart & Oliver Ames High School)
Regional: Boston Regional
As an educator it is profoundly gratifying to see a student grow, explore, question, learn and then excel. It is also most exciting to watch a young person take the seed of an idea and bring it to fruition in a relatively short period of time. Let me explain how Josh Segill was able to do just that.
When Josh was at a M.I.T. Spark event the idea of starting his own robotics team began. Josh started by calling local teams in his area. He went to the Boston regional in April 2011 and the seed was planted.
After getting the information on starting a team he developed the team marketing plan and went looking for donations. As a freshman he set up sponsoring materials, and the next summer spent raising money, ($10,000) and setting up a business plan for the team. Before his first build season, he traveled to workshops and lectures to learn how to set up the team and wrote multiple proposals to the school principal in order to secure a space to build their first robot. At the same time he sent out proposals to companies such as Walmart, and JC Penney to secure funding. Josh also recruited engineers and parents at every fundraising event so that they would have the expertise to build their robot.
When the 2012 build season came, Josh led the rookie team of ten kids to build the robot out of what was supposed to be a supply closet. Without Josh’s ingenuity, enthusiasm, and dedication, the team would never had even competed. But with his drive they were able to earn fourth place in the rookie division at the BU 2012 Boston Regional. After the competition, the team took the robot on the road to some of the Easton schools to generate more interest in the program. From that Josh and the team were able to help garner interest in the middle school and help them obtain funding for their own robotics program. This last year the Middle school held an after school lego robotics program and plan on competing in next year’s FLL competition.
Josh and the team are now in the build stage for 2013. They now number more than twenty students. This year he has focused more on the organization of the team in order to make it more self supporting. He organized the students into different groups according to function: electrical, build, game, and support. Most notably he successfully obtained a larger work space which has dramatically enhanced the ability of the team to prototype and build. Next year he hopes to have the club become a class and is pursuing help with the retired Assistant Superintendent (Nancy Sullivan) to make this a reality. Once the build season comes to a close Josh is planning on hosting assemblies at all of the Easton schools to further spread the message of FIRST Science and Technology and to ensure the teams longevity and to spread the teams reach to more students.
Josh has high expectations for himself and that is reflected in his expectations of the team and its members. However even though he is a very driven individual he always approaches his tasks with a smile and a hefty dose of comradery. It is for all of the reasons above and more, that I believe that Josh should be nominated for the Deans List award.