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First Robotics Team 2500
First Team 2500 at U Competition April, 2011

Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School's own FIRST Team 2500- Herobotics is currently in its tenth year.  The team has advanced to FIRST Robotics Championships 7 of the last 9 years.   The team won the highest regional award - The Chairman’s Award in 2011.  This is “FIRST’s most prestigious award, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. The award helps keep the central focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition on the goal of inspiring greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology”.  

The team also was honored with the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award at the Minneapolis 10,000 Lakes Tournament. This award celebrates a team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school as well as their community. Criteria include: the extent and inventiveness of the team’s efforts to recruit students to engineering, the extent and effectiveness of the team’s community outreach efforts, and the measurable success of those efforts.  A core value of Herobotics is to teach others what we know about technology and robotics.  The team’s accomplishments over their history have earned a tremendous amount of respect from staff and students at Henry and among the FIRST community.

This group is unique because of the make up of the team, and what they have accomplished.  It is one of the most culturally diverse teams involved in FIRST Robotics. Eighty percent of the team is free or reduced lunch. Forty-five percent of the team is ESL.  Virtually everyone on the team comes from difficult circumstances.  This group of kids reaches out to others in the same underrepresented groups to get them interested in STEM careers, both within and outside of the school walls. The team for the last four years has worked year round doing community service. Without a workshop at Henry the first two years The Bakken Museum took them in to work with their engineer mentors when building the robot.  They have earned the respect of the staff and mentors, and worked in public view at The Bakken.  The team partners with the Girl Scout Council of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys taking robots out to council events to help interest more girls in STEM.  They have reached out to several Minneapolis schools and are planning to continue the program reaching out to more kids.  The list goes on with many other outreach efforts.

The team competed in the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth as well.  We were awarded the Johnson and Johnson Gracious Professionalism Award, which was voted on by the 40 teams in attendance.  The team was thrilled to receive this for their sportsmanship, spirit, and outreach to other teams at the tournament.  In addition in 2008 (rookie season), they were awarded the Chrysler Team Spirit Award.   The team has built upon their efforts each year.   To many team members Herobotics has   been a family and support system.  The group has become a tight knit team supporting each other despite their own personal struggles. They have taken to heart the theme of FIRST and have become Gracious Professionals proudly representing their school and the FIRST community.