Youngest teams wrapup a great year

Delaware’s youngest competitors in FIRST robotics– the Jr. FLL teams (FIRST LEGO League)– have wrapped up a year-long challenge to think of new and better ways to deal with TRASH. This year, there were three JFLL Expo events around the state, where teams shared their ideas and their discoveries with project reviewers, and joined in the festivities celebrating their achievement. Thanks to all event organizers and volunteers, to team mentors and to our sponsors. Without you, this program would not be possible!

To learn about forming a team and to get latest info on next year’s challenge see First State Lego League website Or see our website here.

Here are scenes from the February 20 Expo at Delaware State University.

State Championship events set for this month

Scenes from two recent FLL qualifying events–

First State Robotics 2015/16 qualification events are wrapping up for FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) and FLL (FIRST LEGO League), so top teams will advance to compete for the regional championship and — for FTC teams— a chance to represent Delaware at the East coast FIRST Super-regional in Scranton, PA this March and possibly move on to the FTC World Championship this April in St. Louis, MO.

You are invited to come see what it’s all about…FSR events are free and open to the public.

Diamond State FIRST Tech Challenge Championship

  • February 9, 2016
  • Doors open to teams 7 am- 6 pm
  • Opening ceremony 10:45 am
  • Memorial Hall Gym, Delaware State University, Dover, DE

More info at

2015/2016 First State FLL State Championship Tournament

  • February 20, 2016
  • Event Start Time: 8:00am
  • M L King Student Center, Delaware State University, Dover, DE

More info at

FSR announces 2016 board

President George W. Bush, meets with the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), "Chairman's Award" Winning Team: MOE (Miracles of Engineering) Team 365 from Baltimore, MD at the White House, Monday, April 30, 2007, in Washington. Participants included Carol Kauffman, regional FIRST advisor (far left). Photo Credit: "NASA/Bill Ingalls"

President George W. Bush, meets with the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), “Chairman’s Award” Winning Team: MOE 365 at the White House, Monday, April 30, 2007. Participants included Carol Kauffman, regional FIRST advisor (far left). Photo Credit: “NASA/Bill Ingalls”

The Board of First State Robotics has a new member for 2016. At the December meeting, the board voted to invite Roy Hernandez to fill a vacancy left by the retirement of Carol Kauffman. Carol, a former regional director with FIRST, is an outspoken advocate for the power of youth robotics programs such as FIRST, to develop student self-confidence, career choices, and academics.

In a 2007 interview after traveling to the White House with FSR team MOE 365, Carol recalled the first time she attended a FIRST event and the encounter with two girls that got her hooked-

“I saw these two girls working on one of the robots…They were interacting with adults, explaining things like electrical systems… It turns out they… had never dreamed about going to college before getting involved in a robotics team. I thought that if something like this could inspire regular girls to read about electronics on their own and learn all of this, then it should be encouraged everywhere.”

Board president, Peggy Vavalla praised her years of service. “Carol Kauffman had a voice of experience, having been involved with USFIRST for many years. We will miss her enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to clarify an issue and identify the problem. We wish her great success in her future endeavors.”

Roy Hernandez, a Vice President in risk management with Barclays, comes to FSR with a wealth of experience as community leader and volunteer, having served terms with boards of the Latin American Community Center and Academia Antonia Alonso, a charter school in Wilmington. He is also the dad of an FSR robotics student.

In welcoming the newest member, Peggy noted, “Roy Hernandez’s background of service on various nonprofit boards makes him an ideal person to help us fulfill our mission. His previous experience with community outreach and education will help us look at new ideas and ways to move forward. The board is looking forward to his expertise and participation.”