JFK robotics student honored at FIRST World Championship in St. Louis
Rosemont's team energized by the 'life-changing' experience

e-Connections Post

John F. Kennedy High School junior Autumn Luna received the Dean’s List award at the 2016 FIRST Robotics World Championship competition in St. Louis last week.

Rosemont’s robotics team also traveled to Missouri for the competition. Although they didn’t land in the top three, coach David Stafford says just being at the championship had a big impact on the teens.

“The FRC World Championships were a life-changing experience for the students, the coach and the parents,” he says. Team members met other teens from cities across the United States and as far away as Australia, China and Israel.

“All of the teams embraced and supported one another – even in the midst of fierce competition,” says Rosemont Principal Elizabeth Vigil. ”The camaraderie was amazing.” 

Luna was among only ten students nationwide honored at the championships for demonstrating leadership, scholarship and technical skills as a FIRST robotics team member. Her work contributes to FIRST’s official mission to inspire young people to be involved in science and technology.

Luna was nominated by JFK teacher and robotics coach Robert Greene. She was selected from a highly competitive pool of 3,000 candidates.

In addition to the award at the championship, Luna brought home a personal trophy as well as a plaque for the school. She also will receive a coveted letter of recommendation from FIRST to submit to the college of her choice, and an expense-paid trip to the Dean’s List Award Summit in New Hampshire.

The Dean’s List award is named after FIRST founder Dean Kamen.

Luna is enrolled in JFK’s Manufacturing and Design (MaD) Linked Learning pathway where in addition to her academic pursuits, she is also learning about design theory and high-end manufacturing techniques. As lead designer and co-captain of the robotics team, she and her talented teammates designed and manufactured almost every part used to build this year’s award-winning robot.

Stafford’s group visited St. Louis’ famous Gateway Arch and the eclectic City Museum to further enrich their experience.