2018 Additional Grants
On 01 November 2018, Jim Head, Education Chair, AUVIS Pathfinder Chapter Board of Directors, presents RAD Robotics Team #7111 with a grant check for $500.00 provided by the Pathfinder Charitable Foundation. The RAD Robotics Team will use the funds to support their 2019 competition season. Two of our teams who received 2018 PFC grants represented North Alabama well:FTC Team #14491, the Nerdettes, from Owens Cross Roads took home the top honors from the qualifier, the Inspire Award; was a member of the second place Tournament Alliance; placed second for the Connect Award; and placed third for the Design, Control, and Motivate Awards.FTC Team #7842, the Browncoats, was the captain of the Winning Tournament Alliance; won the Design Award; placed second for the Control and Think Awards; and placed third for the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award.Both teams were advanced to the Arkansas State Championship, to be held 8-9 February in Springdale, Arkansas.
2018 Educational Grant Awards
Pathfinder Charitable Foundation (PCF) 28thAnnual K-12 Robotics Team Grant Awards
Pathfinder is the Tennesse valley chapter of AUVSI at the forefront of providing the unmanned commute with over 20 years of service. We are truly grateful for the continuous support provided by our partners, sponsors, members and the unmanned community here in the Tennessee Valley.
Guided by our Chapter objectives to: a) Provide an organization for individuals who have a common interest in, and who wish to foster and expand, the domain of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, b) Advance technology, c) Exchange ideas and information in the field of Unmanned Vehicle Systems and to recognize the advances and contributions thereto, and d) Promote the education of the membership and the general public in the field of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, e) Document the history of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, we have continued to challenge ourselves to provide opportunities for our members and the local community through our annual symposium, grant programs, support of local robotics events and our partnership with the AUVSI Pathfinder student chapter at the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).
In support of these objectives, the Pathfinder Charitable Fund (PFC) was established to provide a means of funding various goals within the local community. One of those goals is the grants provided each year to local K – 12 robotics teams. These grants help the recipients fund everything from providing seed money to establish a new robotics team, to purchasing parts to explore new avenues in unmanned technology, to providing, to participating in robotics competition to measure design solutions agains other likeminded teams.
This year PFC conducted its 28thAnnual Grant Awards. On 11 September at Lee High School in Huntsville Alabama, local K – 12 robotics teams were given the opportunity to make a five minute presentation to the evaluation committee. Presentations included a history of the team’s progress, how funding they were seeking, and what the funding would be used for in terms of their overall budget for the year. The goal of the grant process is not only to provided much needed funding, but to also encourage forward thinking, management, budgeting, planning, and execution of the year end team goals.
This year PFC had over 30 teams make presentations for grants. The team furthest away to request a grant was from Fort Payne. Presentations included PowerPoint slides, videos, and skits. There were XXX new teams that requested grants to help offset start up fees. In all, nearly $20,000 in grant money was awarded to the teams on 20 September at Lee High School.
PFC would like to thank all the teams that participated this year, Lee High School for letting us user their facility, the Pathfinder Chapter Board of Directors, and to all the Pathfinder Chapter sponsor, sponsors, and members who supported us this year.
2017 Educational Grant Awards
The AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter in Huntsville, Alabama, is on a mission to connect today’s youth to the discovery and exploration in the fields of robotics and unmanned systems. Since 2010, the AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter has donated over half a million dollars to robotics programs in support of schools and organizations in North Alabama. On October 10, 2017 the AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter provided grants to 36 local K-12 Robotics Teams. The awards were made possible through donations from corporate sponsors and from the proceeds of the annual Pathfinder Chapter Symposium. “Our Pathfinder Chapter is proud to support our local youth in learning the skills necessary for success with robotics and to experience these skills in action in local and national competitions,” said Sergio “Chuy” Menchaca, AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter President.
Each organization was required to make a 5- minute presentation on their needs for the 2017-2018 competition year. 36 teams made presentations. Presentations ranged from a single presenter to highly participator presentations such as the one shown here. Shown to the right are the happy recipients of the 2017 Grants. Grants were in the form of money and for 4 teams new Dell Laptops for them to work their computer magic on.
· Grants totaling $22,456 were awarded to the following schools, organizations and teams:
· Farley Elementary
· Monte Sano
· Huntsville High School
· FIRST (Alabama)
· Cedar Ridge Middle
· MCHS Robotics
· FTC Brown Coats
· Apex Predators
· Arab High School
· Blue Springs Elementary
· Huntsville Christian Academy
· Tanner Elementary
· Hillsboro School
· Galaxy Girls
· Columbia High School
· Brookhaven Middle
· Arab High Dragon Slayers
· AL FIRST Lego League
· 4Sight LLC Community-based Team
· Grissom Robotics
· Hampton Cove Schools (2 Teams)
· Hazel Green H.S. (7 Teams)
· Meridian Middle School
· Madison Elementary
· Goldsmith Schiffman Elementary
· Limestone County Schools
· Montview Elementary
· Morgan County
· Tanner High School
· Williams P8
Alabama State FIRST Tech Challenge Championship
For the ninth consecutive year, the AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter in Huntsville, Alabama, was one of the major sponsors for the Alabama State Fist Tech Challenge (FTC) team and many of the competition teams in attendance. This year FIRST (Alabama) hosted their inaugural Alabama State FTC Championship in Huntsville, AL, with 24 middle school/high school competition teams from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and West Virginia. The top two teams move on to the Regional Championship in Atlanta, GA. According to Sheryl Darrow (FTC Affiliate Partner) “Over the years, AUVSI Pathfinder has been one of our major sponsor and has purchased most of the equipment we are using.” In previous years they have used the funding to purchase the competition cages and this year the $1,500 AUVSI Pathfinder grant was used to purchase a new projector.
25th Alabama Regional Future City Competition
The AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter in Huntsville, Alabama, was one of fourteen Special Award Sponsors during the 25th Alabama Regional Future City Competition held at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville on January 14th. Twenty four teams made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from Alabama and Tennessee competed in three domains: Models, SimCity4 Modeling, and Formal Presentations. We judged all teams on the best use of Unmanned Systems and our winner of the $150 prize and plaque was the City of “FenAqueous” from the Southside Middle School in Tallassee, AL. Their “FenAquaeous” SimCity design incorporated unmanned systems in space, on land, in water, and underground. They described their selection criteria for robotics and automation as dirty, dull, difficult, or dangerous with examples as to why.
2016 Educational Grant Awards
The AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter in Huntsville, Alabama, is on a mission to connect today’s youth to the discovery and exploration in the fields of robotics and unmanned systems. Since 2010, the AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter has donated over half a million dollars to robotics programs in support of schools and organizations in North Alabama. On November 10, 2016 the AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter awarded more than $22,000 to robotics programs at 30 local schools and organizations. These grant awards were made possible through donations from corporate sponsors and from the proceeds of the annual Pathfinder Chapter Symposium. “The Pathfinder Chapter is proud to support our local youth in learning the skills necessary for success with robotics and to experience these skills in action in local and national competitions,” said Sergio “Chuy” Menchaca, AUVSI Pathfinder Chapter President.
Grants totaling $22,175 were awarded to the following schools, organizations and teams:
William "Bill" Nichols - Order of Prometheus Award
By awarding the Order of Prometheus Medallion, the Pathfinder Chapter of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International recognizes the significant and enduring contributions of Bill Nichols toward advancing the goals of AUVSI. Comprised of distinguished members from government, industry and academia, the Pathfinder Board of Directors is uniquely qualified and in unanimous consent to recognize this individual’s outstanding achievements. The Order of Prometheus Medallion signifies that the recipient exemplifies the highest ideals, aspirations, and accomplishments resident to the unmanned systems community. From now into perpetuity, Bill Nichols will be regarded with distinct respect and special honor commensurate with Award of the Medallion and induction into the Pathfinder AUVSI Chapter’s Order of Prometheus. William “Bill” Nichols is a native of Haleyville, Alabama. He graduated in 1976 with a BS in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and in 1983 with an MBA in Systems Acquisition Management from Babson College, Wellesley, MA. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Ordnance Branch upon graduation from UTC. Throughout his 22 year Army career, he served in various leadership and staff positions of increasing responsibility including Company Commander,; Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, U.S. Army Missile Command; Contracting Officer; Battalion Executive Officer and Material Officer; APM TOW Missile; DASC, TOW Missile and ITAS Fire Control unit in the Pentagon; Product Manager, IBAS and PEO Tactical Missiles Staff Officer. In retirement, he served as Director, Program Support, SYColeman, Inc., for 7 years providing support to the Ground Based Mid-Course Defense Project Office during the design and build of the missile shield in Alaska. He returned to federal service as the Deputy Product Manager, Shadow Unmanned Aerial System and Chief, Operations Division, PM Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office. He is currently the Acting Product Director for the Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System in Close Combat Weapons Systems Project Office. During his 40 years of government service he has deployed to Operation Desert Storm and Somalia while on active duty, and Iraq and Afghanistan while a civil servant along with many intermediate locations in the Middle East.