Friendly Competition among S.T.E.M. Teams

Red shirts and Orange shirts advancing S.T.E.M. experience

By Lynn Fitzpatrick

Spark interest among like-minded people, find mentors and advisors, gather, form committees, review the rules of the game, analyze, prototype, design, fabricate, assemble, document, practice, compete. That’s what S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) teams do in preparation for robotics competitions whether they are high school teams participating in FIRST Lego, Tech, or Robotics competitions. It’s just like the America’s Cup.

Extracurricular activities, not just classes, are among the things students look forward to throughout the academic year. As more and more schools are fielding high school sailing teams, they are being outpaced by the number of teams forming for S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) competitions around the world. Students in schools that don’t have a S.T.E.M. robotics team, don’t have to look as far as they used to explore new ideas and opportunities while collaborating with their peers, mentors, and community resources to develop an understanding of S.T.E.M. concepts and skills through hands-on learning experiences in a friendly and cooperative environment.

Recently, I was introduced to two high school teams that are gearing up for the FIRST Robotics Competition rule that will be released in January 2018. One long-standing team had 50 students involved, a mentor advisory council, mentors, and student leaders. They also had an annual budget of over $70,000 to cover the cost of their robotics kit, tools, travel, lodging, and other materials. They had a business plan. They had mechanical, software, electrical, media, and PR “departments”. They had systems. They had poise. They showed professionalism and they had confidence enough and experience enough to budget to attend the world championship.

Newly founded, the other team was assembled from four counties and included public, private, charter and home schooled teenagers.   They were on a steep learning curve about FIRST Robotics Competitions; club formation; finding mentors, sponsors, teachers, and meeting space; and learning a bit about everything that goes into making a robot and determining what skills and attributes they could best contribute to the team or which ones they wanted to develop. Fortunately, in the spirit of “coopertition”, the well-established team was working with them to assist and enable them.

None of the students were earning class credits. Neither of the teams was funded out of the school’s or the district’s funds. Everyone involved was doing it for the joy of learning, exploring new ideas, and working with others.

As Integrity Team USA awaits the design rule for the 36th America’s Cup, it’s doing everything these high school teams are doing on a grand scale. We’re looking forward to fostering opportunities to increase technology and engineering literacy and promoting critical thinking by developing hands-on experiences, student internships, job shadowing, and student design competitions.  We’ll lead by example. We will act with integrity and we will help and cooperate with others – especially our innovators and trailblazers of tomorrow. Integrity Team USA looks forward to building S.T.E.A.M. into its operations, outreach, and legacy.

XXXVI America’s Cup in 2021

By Lynn Fitzpatrick

The America’s Cup could not be in better hands to manage advancement of its format and the restoration of the intent of original Deed of Gift than it is now. Both Royal New Zealand Yacht Club and its team Emirates Team New Zealand as the Defender and Circolo della Vela Sicilia and Luna Rosa as the Challenger of Record took the high road during the 35th America’s Cup and have been rewarded for making very courageous decisions and seeing them through.

On July 18th , the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, as the winner of the 35th America’s Cup, and Circolo della Vela Sicilia, as the Challenger of Record, together with their respective representative teams Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge, confirmed that the Protocol establishing the parameters for the 36th America’s Cup will be released in September 2017.

The proposed dates for the event will be further detailed in the Protocol, but the Defender and the Challenger of Record are considering the possibility of the 36th America’s Cup Match and the preceding Challenger Selection Series being conducted in Auckland in early 2021 during the New Zealand summer.

In recognition of the fundamental condition of the Deed of Gift that the Cup be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries, the Protocol will contain a “constructed in country” requirement for competing yachts and a nationality requirement for competing crew members.  These clauses will promote nationalism and economic impact in those countries where challenger teams activate.

This announcement brings more certainty to the format for all foreign challenger aspirants, their investors, backers, sponsors, partners and fans.  Integrity Team USA is eager to promote its vision, team, and brand while creating a sustainable business model, generating economic development, and empowering our youth through our S.T.E.M. education and sustainability programs.

Grit, Ingenuity & Pluck Win the Cup for NZ

Perennial America’s Cup powerhouse, Emirates Team New Zealand, won the 35th America’s Cup by making a commitment to technology, the talent that could deliver the technology, and the next generation of sailors.  Hampered by an austerity budget, because of circumstances beyond their control, the Kiwi team used a “Lone Wolf” strategy.  The team went way out on the spectrum with technology and controls, they kept to themselves, they created a close-knit team, and they didn’t make mistakes.  (Read Richard Gladwell’s Sail-World.com article.  Click here.)

(Read New Zealand Herald article.  Click here.)

Economic Development Potential for NZ

The last time New Zealand hosted the America’s Cup, in 2003, over $500 million was pumped back into the economy.  The next edition of the America’s Cup could buoy the Kiwi economy with over $1 billion in infrastructure and team spending in addition to over $500 million entering New Zealand’s marine trades.  (Hear more about Auckland’s economic development potential.  Listen to these 24/7 News pieces.  1 & 2.)