Pair Named FRC Dean's List Semi-Finalists
Mentors of the Whitewater High School Robotics Team Ferradermis have the opportunity to nominate two members each year as semi-finalists for the Dean’s List Award, named after Dean Kamen, co-founder of FIRST, to “celebrate outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.” Criteria for selection of the FIRST Dean’s List includes demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of FIRST, interest in and passion for a long term commitment to FIRST, overall individual contribution to their team, technical expertise and passion, entrepreneurship and creativity, ability to motivate and lead fellow team members, and effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST in their school and community. Nominated members must be sophomores or juniors. This year, the mentors nominated juniors Zach Brantmeier and Bennett Miles. These students will participate in an interview process either before or at the Seven Rivers Regional in LaCrosse. The judges will select two finalists from the LaCrosse regional to advance to the national championship where the 10 Dean’s List Winners will be announced. When recommending Zach, the mentors noted that at the Seven Rivers Regional in 2017, Zach found himself under a great deal of stress as the lead programmer on a robot that was behaving unexpectedly. He handled himself with tremendous poise, working with his mentors, programmers from other teams, and the control system advisors to troubleshoot under extreme pressure, ensuring the team made it to all of its scheduled practice matches and qualification matches on time. Zach has become the team’s “make it happen” person. His mentors rely on him heavily for team communication. Zach set up and manages both our Slack and Remind accounts; he is the first person to arrive for every meeting and the last person to leave. When someone needs to know what is going on, the answer is, “ask Zach.” When recommending Bennett, the mentors commented that this fall, Bennett took the initiative to reach out to one of our elementary school teachers that he thought might be interested in sponsoring a FIRST Lego League Team as none exist in our school system; he recognized the need in our community and went for it. Bennett has scheduled several meetings with this teacher and the two of them are planning a fundraising campaign to make the FIRST Lego League team happen for the 2018-2019 school year. Bennett is already looking ahead to bring a freshman student into this loop so that when Bennett graduates in 2019, there will be someone prepared to continue this community outreach. Congratulations, Zach and Bennett, and thank you for your dedication to Team Ferradermis! Good luck in LaCrosse!
Ferradermis Wins Wisconsin Regional
Team 6574, Ferradermis, a second year FIRST Robotics Team from Whitewater High School, qualified for the FIRST Championship in Detroit at this weekend’s Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee. There are extensive hurdles that any team must pass to qualify for the Championship, much less a second year team. Those challenges could not be overcome without other FIRST teams demonstrating the best the organization has to offer. Ferradermis was founded in 2017 when then Whitewater High School seniors Justin Brantmeier and Roberto Soto, along with teacher Laura Masbruch reached out to other local teams for help. Their first contact was Team 3692, the Rock N’ Robotics club based at Janesville Parker. The Janesville mentors helped the trio navigate into the world of FIRST, and a connection with the Whitewater Makerspace helped make the reality of a team seem possible. Team 1306, Badger BOTS, based in Middleton, led by President and 2017 Dean’s List winner Grace Fanson, immediately jumped in to help. 1306 provided extensive background help and tips on forming and administering a team, as well as advice on how the competition worked. 1306 additionally lent a full drive train for 6574 to use to familiarize the new competitors with the base of a robot to help develop controls and electronics and programming knowledge, as well as scouting support and replacement parts at the 2017 Seven Rivers Regional in LaCrosse. But help for the new competitor was also provided by other FIRST teams. Two of 6574’s lead mentors are alumni of Team 1259, Paradigm Shift, of Pewaukee. In a fortuitous bit of foreshadowing, at the 2018 Wisconsin Regional this past Friday, 6574 experienced reliability issues across multiple components of their robot, leading to a number of match losses due to the robot shutting down. Numerous teams at the event jumped in to help, lending hands, materials, and parts to get the robot working. Team 2202, BEAST Robotics, of Brookfield, lent a broken 12V pneumatic solenoid to the team that functioned flawlessly after a quick repair. Team 1259, over all three days of the regional, worked to ensure 6574’s continued progress, sending their own students, tools, and components including a replacement gearbox component for the intake mechanism. 1259 mentor Dale Noll, and his son, Ben Noll, provided a combination of electrical and mechanical expertise and support in order to ensure the robot performed at its best. Team 2574, RoboHuskies, of Saint Anthony, Minnesota, lent mechanical hardware and tools on the first day to ensure the team was able to fully integrate newly made parts intended to upgrade the robot. After the team noticed a stripped screw terminal on a motor controller, Team 3418, RoboRiot of Sheboygan County, jumped to offer two spare motor controllers in order to ensure 6574’s conveyor system would function through the eliminations. All of this help from other teams contributed to 6574’s strong bounce back on day two. The team’s drivers were now able to fill up the vault entirely by themselves with time to spare, cleanly winning all three Saturday qualification matches with the support of their alliance members, as well as a match replay of their last match. Knowing the troubles 6574 suffered on Day 1, and confident in the repairs the new team made to their bot, 1259, the top seed at the Wisconsin Regional, invited 6574 to join their alliance with 2481, Roboteers, of Tremont, Illinois, for the playoff round. That alliance swept through the playoff rounds to claim the Wisconsin Regional, undefeated. The help of other teams, however, did not end there. Post-match photos courtesy of 1259 were taken and circulated. Team 537, Charger Robotics, out of Sussex, immediately offered their help in preparing a shipping box for 6574 to send their robot to the Championship. So, 6574 Ferradermis goes to the Championship—-but takes parts of many other teams with them, courtesy of the guiding principle of FIRST: Gracious Professionalism in action.
Olson Places in Business Law at State FBLA
Four students had the wonderful opportunity to attend the FBLA State Leadership Conference in La Crosse earlier this week. Sophie Mayer and Kelly Villareal were a part of the Legacy Academy where they got to meet business professionals along with members of FBLA from all over Wisconsin. Caroline Crowley competed in Intro to Public Speaking on Monday, but did not make it to the final round for Tuesday. Sophie Olson took a test in Business Law and made it to the stage taking 5th place. She is currently an alternate and could possibly go to nationals if a student is unable to attend. Congratulations to these ladies who did an amazing job at the FBLA State Leadership Conference!
FFA Members Advance to Sectional Competition
Whitewater FFA members recently competed in the District Leadership Development Events. The parliamentary procedure team placed second. Brady Meudt placed second in employment skills, and Lauren Staller placed first in Extemporaneous Speaking. All of these students will go on and compete at the Sectional Competition on March 12th for the opportunity to compete in the State Competition. Pictured are Jon Brunner, Brady Meudt, Jakob Gmur, Caty Strait, Hailey Lohmeier, Hannah Hoffmann, State FFA Officer Amelia Hayden, and Lauren Staller.
Two FBLA Members Advance to State Competition
Eight FBLA members traveled to Columbus to compete at the Regional Leadership Competition on Saturday, February 3. With good preparation several students made it to the stage or were recognized at the end of the day. Two students qualified to advance to the State Competition in LaCrosse, on April 9-10. These students are Sophie Olson who earned 1st in Business Law and Caroline Crowley who earned 1st in Introduction to Public Speaking. Other students placing were as follows: Agribusiness, Jaden Henneman, 4th place; Job Interview, Alexa DuClos, 4th place; Business Law, Sophie Mayer, 5th place; Hospitality Management, Maggie Hough & Marijose Cuellar, 7th place; Website Design, Josie Hintz, 7th place; Impromptu Speaking, Roth Wells, 7th place; and Public Service Announcement, Dalton Chenoweth and Abby Gnatzig, 8th place. Congratulations to all those who participated and placed!
Meudt Named Master Showman
Whitewater FFA President, Brady Meudt, pictured third from the left, won the Beef Showmanship competition at the Jefferson County Fair in July. He then went on to compete with the Showmanship winners from the other livestock competitions in a Master Showman competition. Competitors in that contest were required to show all species, dairy, swine, beef, goats, and sheep. Brady again won first place in the overall division.
Parliamentary Procedure Team Advances to Sectionals
Congratulations to the FFA Parliamentary Procedure team for placing 2nd at the recent contest. Our team will now compete at Sectionals on March 15. Also, congratulations to our Creed Speakers, Morgan Gransee and Jacee Johnson, who both did well in the competition. Congratulations also to Brady Meudt who placed third in the Employment Skills competition. From left to right are State Officer Travis Cadman, Anna Lucht, Brady Meudt, Jakob Gmur, Matt Lucht, and Hailey Lohmeier.
Four Advance to State FBLA
On Saturday, February 4, 14 FBLA members competed at Deforest High School for the Regional Leadership Conference. Four students qualified to advance to state in Appleton in April. They include Jamie Millian (3rd place in Client Service), Abby Gnatzig and Casey Skindingsrude (3rd place in Public Service Announcement), and Caroline Crowley (2nd place in Public Speaking). Other students who placed at regionals include Dalton Chenoweth (4th place in Accounting II), Jaden Henneman (5th place in Agribusiness), Sophie Olson (7th place in Business Law), James Dedrick (4th place in Future Business Leader), the team of Marijose Cuellar, Ipek Goktepe, and Maggie Hough (6th place in Graphic Design), Roth Wells (4th place in Impromptu Speaking), Alexa DuClos (6th place in Job Interview), Ryann Aschenbrener (6th place in Journalism), and the team of Jillian Harkness, Josie Hintz, and Sophie Mayer (6th place in Web Site Design).
Niemuth Qualifies for Nationals
Congratulations to Tyler Niemuth for placing fourth in Future Business Leader at the FBLA State Conference and qualifying for the National Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, this summer. To be successful in this event, students must be well-rounded in their knowledge of business. Tyler demonstrated this by submitting a letter of application and resume, taking a written test, and participating in an interview. It is a high honor for members to be recognized in the Future Business Leader event.
FBLA Members Place at State
Several Whitewater FBLA members placed in their events at the 62nd FBLA State Conference held in La Crosse. Emma Stutzman, Travis Winger, and Sally Kate Hixson (pictured) placed 5th in e-Business. Tyler Niemuth placed 4th in Future Business Leader. Tyler will represent Wisconsin at the FBLA National Conference this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. Congratulations, Tyler!