Ikechukwu Chima, a junior at Riverside High School and a veteran of the school’s US FIRST Robotics team, earned the prestigious Dean’s List Award
at the championship FIRST Robotics Competition held this past weekend in St. Louis.
The FIRST competition (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science
and Technology) is the premiere international high school robotics challenge in which teams of students build a robot from a common kit of parts that can complete a task identified at the beginning of the year. Ike was one of just ten students worldwide to earn the award for his demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST ideals of gracious professionalism, overall individual contribution to his team, technical expertise and passion, entrepreneurship
and creativity, ability to motivate and lead fellow team members, and effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST at Riverside High School and the
community at large.
"My experience over the past four years has been extraordinary,” explained Ike. “I learned the importance of working on a team, sharing ideas with others,
and learning how to wire and build a robot. I wouldn't trade my experiences at Riverside for anything because I learned so much.”
Ike was named a finalist for the FIRST Dean’s List award when Riverside's Envirobotics Team 3059 competed at the New York City regional match in March. At the recent championship competition, he was honored as one of the ten award recipients. The coveted honor equates to valuable prizes, including
an expense-paid trip to the FIRST Dean’s List Awards Summit held at FIRST Founder Dean Kamen’s home in New Hampshire, a written recommendation
from FIRST leadership to the college or employer of his choice, college visits, and two airline tickets to anywhere in the United States.
“Ike exemplifies the amazing potential being cultivated within our schools,” said Bernard P. Pierorazio, Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools. “This
award is a culmination of his hard work and is a testament to the talent being nurtured in the engineering and design magnet at Riverside High School.”
Ike began with Team 3059 as an 8th grade student when Museum Middle School was transitioning to Riverside High School. He has mastered electrical and mechanical systems in building a robot and has been Team 3059’s co-driver for two years. As part of the build team, he has lent expertise and commitment throughout the season. This year, he also became lead mentor to the team’s younger members.
"It has been a pleasure watching Ike's interest and talents mature over the past three years. He has truly grown into the role model that we knew he would become,” said Riverside High School Principal Steven Murphy.
As a member of the FIRST Dean’s List, Ike will now serve as an ambassador of the program – his first task was to attend the NYC Team Leadership
Assembly for the 2011-2012 year, training that helps FIRST organizers improve the competition.
Since its inception in 2010, the FIRST Dean’s List has drawn attention from the country’s most prestigious universities who look upon this as an opportunity
to recruit top scholars to their institutions.
Congratulations Ikechukwu Chima! You are Yonkers Pride.