Winners announced April 21, 2017 at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, TX
Seattle, WA – April 12, 2017 – FIRST Robotics (FRC) Team 4911 CyberKnights, a robotics team from King’s High School, is proud to announce that Madeleine Schwitters has been named a FIRST Dean’s List Finalist at the PNW District Championships in Cheney, WA. Madeleine will now represent the team and the Pacific Northwest Region at the World Championships in Houston, TX. Winners will be announced on April 21, 2017 during a luncheon with Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics, and namesake of this prestigious award.
The Dean’s List Award began in 2010 to celebrate outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of the FIRST most outstanding FRC students, the Kamen family sponsors this award for the selected top students.
The FIRST Dean’s List Award is awarded to a current student leader who has led their FIRST Robotics Competition team and communities to increase awareness for FIRST and its mission while achieving personal technical expertise and accomplishment, and who will be great leaders of FIRST’s ever growing student alumni.
The FIRST Dean’s List Award has attracted the attention of prestigious colleges and universities who desire to have FIRST Dean’s List students apply for admissions. As a Dean’s List Finalist, Madeleine’s accomplishment has already been noted by schools such as MIT, Yale and Worcester Polytechnic Institute – all of whom express great interest in Dean’s List students.
Madeleine was nominated by CyberKnights coach and King’s High School teacher Mike Thompson because of her natural ability and interest in building, leading groups, programming robots and passion for ensuring every student has the opportunity to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She has held numerous leadership roles on her FRC and FTC teams including Drive Captain, Mill Lead and CAD Lead for Critical Systems. She coaches an FLL team, started a Special Olympics Unified Robotics team and mentors at robotics summer camps. She devotes about 30 hours per week to the team and outreach events, while maintaining a 3.96 GPA in mainly AP and college-prep courses.
After realizing the importance of STEM and how it impacts people’s lives around the world, Madeleine wanted to ensure every student has access to STEM education regardless of their circumstances. She recently launched a non-profit called Kids and Tech (www.kidsandtech.org) with the mission to help children explore STEM in fun ways and enable everyone access to STEM education and activities. Through Kids and Tech, Madeleine is promoting FIRST Robotics as well as camps offering need-based scholarships, low-cost/free community events related to STEM, and even fun science experiments to do at home. She hopes to use this non-profit to promote equity in her community and eventually worldwide. She’s working to provide scholarships to underprivileged children so they can attend STEM camps, and securing donations to provide LEGO Kits, laptops, and other equipment to schools and groups that cannot afford to start STEM programs without it.
“I’m beyond proud of the contribution Madeleine is making to spread STEM and the ideals of FIRST, said Mike Thompson. “Madeleine has made it clear that her journey with FIRST is just beginning. She plans to mentor a team during college, volunteer at events, and would love to continue coaching.”
“I was honored to be nominated for this award and be recognized first as a semi-finalist and now as a finalist,” said Madeleine. “FIRST has inspired me to pursue engineering, understand the importance of STEM and ensure everyone has access to STEM education. I look forward to representing my team and the PNW region at the FIRST Robotics World Championships.”
You can learn more about the CyberKnights on their website: cyberknights4911.com
You can learn more about FIRST on their website: firstinspires.org
The CyberKnights seek to inspire an interest and passion for science and technology while preparing students to become industry leaders in tomorrow’s competitive global marketplace.
The King’s High School’s award-winning robotics program serves as an educational community within King’s Schools as well as FIRST ® Robotics. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that seeks to further education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields and provides an environment in which students can grow academically and acquire skills vital to their professional development such as an exceptional work ethic and problem-solving skills.
The CyberKnights serve as the founding team of King’s Robotics, a group of FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST Lego League, and FIRST Lego League Jr. teams. In its endeavor to successfully embody FIRST values and goals, the CyberKnights seek to create a team culture that sustains their community for years to come. From team recruitment, developing student leaders, maintaining a gender-equal team, serving as FIRST ambassadors in outreach, collaborating with each other in a student-lead environment and asking corporations to support them as the next generation of leaders, the CyberKnights strive to be an organization of people impacting the world for FIRST.
Starting in 2009 in FIRST Tech Challenge with eight students, the CyberKnights have inspired over 10% of the K-12 students to participate in FIRST programs. CyberKnights Alumni have gone on to pursue fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and return to invest in the program as mentors for the current team. The team continues to develop its members in leadership, collaboration, and communication skills.