“FIRST is a collaboration of industry, academia and the community working toward a common goal and making learning fun, with the objective of impacting youth and our economy in a positive, dramatic way,” said Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of Microchip Technology, co-chair of the FIRST Arizona Regional Planning Committee, FIRST sponsor and member of the FIRST Board of Directors. “The students’ excitement was palpable as they saw the results of their hard work come to fruition.”
Chandler, Ariz.-based Microchip Technology is the organizing sponsor of the FRC Arizona Regional. 50 high-school robotics teams from four countries, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, competed in the 2012 FRC AZ Regional. 44 of those teams were from Arizona and three were from New Mexico. AZFirst, a non-profit organization, awarded the Steve Sanghi Scholarship to Avery Silverman, a senior at Phoenix Country Day School. Funded by Steve and Maria Sanghi, this scholarship totals $16,000 over four years, and is awarded to an outstanding FIRST participant who intends to pursue a college degree in science, technology, engineering or math. Coconino High School won the Regional Chairman’s Award, which recognizes the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Patricia Smith, K-12 Outreach Coordinator for ASU, Ira Fulton School of Engineering, the FIRST Lego® League (FLL) Affiliate Partner, received the “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” award for her success in growing the FLL robotics program for students ages 9 – 14.
Additionally, Ms. Jessica Popham, FIRST coach for Bioscience High School in Phoenix, received the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which recognizes a teacher or engineer who demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math and creative design. Christine Sapio from Coconino High School was awarded the “Arizona Teacher of the Year,” based upon an essay written by her students.
Generous supporters of the 2012 FRC Arizona Regional included Organizing Sponsor Microchip Technology, Leader in Technology Microchip Technology Employees, Captain of Innovation Sponsors Avnet, Craig and Barbara Barrett, Medtronic Foundation, Microsoft Store, ON Semi, Steve and Maria Sanghi and Wells Fargo. Fan Sponsors included Wishes in Stitches/Alan and Margaret Jannuzzi, ON EAC, Robert and Cheryl Mahoney and In-kind Sponsors Alliance Industrial, ITT Tech- Tempe, Garcia’s Restaurant, and Old Chicago Restaurant.