Mr. Shawn Lim started with FIRST as a member of Canada’s original FIRST team, Team 188: Woburn Robotics. Since then, he has started a company with fellow 188ers, became a teacher at Cresent School (Team 610), and was recently married – as well as being a Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Recipient!
As a student on 188, he started as a member of the Mobility Team – the sub-team dedicated to designing and building the robot’s drivetrain. After helping assemble the drivetrain, he went on to lead the subgroup. He then decided to lead the Documentation Team, which makes a yearbook-like account of the current season as well as organizing media to support awards submissions.
When asked why he became a teacher, he gives a lot of credit to FIRST and being an engineering mentor. Several 188 alumni started a company called FSI and while running it he was also a mentor of Team 188. Like many in the FIRST Family, the people keep Mr. Lim motivated to continue mentoring.
“The best part about FIRST is the people,” he says. “As the years pass, the one thing that I’ve grown to appreciate is the ability to surround yourself with good people. FIRST is an amazing community where there is a very high concentration of great people who like hard work and meet challenges head on. Normally it can be very hard to come by, but they’re always all over the place at FIRST events!”
He also notes that its important to create an environment where young people can experience what its like to have great people come together and do great things.
Speaking of great, Mr. Lim was part of the Championship winning Alliance, comprised of his team, 610: Crescent Robotics, 1241: THEROY6 Robotics and 1477: Texas Torque. When asked what it was like being a part of a championship team, he only shrugs. “Not much has changed, apart from the welcome media attention. The kids have made a long list of what to improve on for next year, and I am still sitting in the robotics lab trying to have everything set up. The team’s expectations are also the same, try to win a regional and try to get onto Einstein. After you make it onto the final field, skill can only take you so far, and you need a certain amount of luck too.”
Although still with a long list of improvements to make happen, 610 was different this year in terms of experience. This, in Mr. Lim’s opinion, is probably what made the difference from a strong Canadian team, to one of the best team’s in FIRST this year. 610 had a large crop of students with the skills to produce a world-class robot. In previous years, Mr. Lim had wondered whether the students had the experience to tackle all tasks to be done, under a tight deadline. This year, it seemed lack of experience wasn’t much of an issue.
“We focused on what we were good at, and tried to become the best in the world at it,” he says. “We had several missteps along the way and overextended ourselves, but it was all worked out. The decision making process of the team is definitely improving.”
Mr. Lim and Team 610 continue to impress us here at FIRST Robotics Canada, as well as all Canadian Teams. Congratulations again to the Coyotes on you World Championship Win!
“Charles Offor – Game Announcer, FIRST Lego League Coach and Mentor, Ambassador of Fun
Charles Offor is an elementary school teacher at Lescon Public School within the Toronto District School Board. He first started volunteering with FIRST 7 years ago as a part of the Field Repair and Reset Crew. Within the past few years though, he has also taken on the role of Game Announcer in FRC.
To compliment Charles’ experiences, he further adds to the overall experience at FIRST with his enthusiasm. Utilizing announcing as a key component, he looks to energize the crowd to get excited about all the aspects of what he calls “a scientifical and technological extravaganza”. He can often be seen moving and grooving to the beats in celebration of everyone that made the event possible.
Charles is very passionate about working with students as they learn and develop their social skills. Along with his volunteering work in FIRST, he has been coaching and supporting his students in FLL for 6 years. His view is that the field of Science and Technology is fun to teach, totally engaging, and hands on for students. As it is all around, there will be many opportunities for students to develop and prepare for all the new and exciting professional opportunities that the future holds. His advice for students at any level is, “The future is now, so get involved!”
John Shaw – Head Judge, FIRST Photographer, Moderate-High sense of humour.
John Shaw is a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario and recently retired as Vice President Nuclear Performance Improvement and Oversight with Ontario Power Generation. He has been judging FRC for about 8 years at the Ontario Regionals and the World Championships. For the 2012 and 2013 FRC seasons, John is the Ontario Judge Coordinator.
John has also enjoyed being a Head Judge for FIRST Lego League for the past half dozen years at many tournaments in Ontario and at the Ontario Championships. Aside from volunteering in the various judging roles, John has also taken lots of great pictures even though he’s a bit camera-shy. After browsing through other photos taken by our other fantastic photo guy, Bill Holtby, it was apparent that John either didn’t smile at the camera or he immediately started fiddling with his own cameras!
He says that hearing students talk about the Engineering, physics and team organization is energizing to everyone in science and technology industries. His view is that today’s students are talking physics at an age where he was trying to learn his multiplication tables. We would like to take the opportunity to thank John for everything that he has done for us as it was quite a lot. We could not have done it without you and we really appreciate everything that you have done.”