We were incredibly lucky to be invited to the fifth annual FIRST Robotics Gala Dinner, held on November 7th, in New York City. The gala serves as a fundraiser for FIRST, and brings together many of FIRST’s sponsors and supporters for a night of inspiration and robots. Additionally, every year, the Make It Loud award is given out to a person who helps to spread the mission and vision of FIRST. This year, the honoree was Soledad O’Brien.
At the gala, we not only had the opportunity to display our robot and tell our stories to FIRST supporters, but one of our members, Jonathan, was chosen to give some opening words and introduce one of the speakers for the night, Larry Cohen. We also got the opportunity the show off our robot to a whole host of FIRST celebrities, like Don Bossi, President of FIRST.
The gala program also included the Evelyn Kamen FIRST Alumni award, which was won by Tia Singh, a mentor over at our friends, team 1796, the RoboTigers! Videos showcasing the impact that FIRST has had on communities were also screened, and helped to showcase what a force for change STEM education can be.
Following a delicious dinner (and even more delicious dessert), we got the opportunity to talk to Soledad O’Brien about our robot, and she even drove it around! In fact, she might have driven it more smoothly than some of our competition drivers! Right after that, we also managed to not only get Dean Kamen to take a photo with the team, but also got him to sign our robot (and hatch panel, and driver station, and…). We can now never dismantle Ms Calculated ever again.
We had a great time at the gala, and are incredibly thankful to NYC FIRST for giving us the opportunity to show off what we do!
Please enjoy a collection of photos from the evening!