A King’s Schools student from Lynnwood has been named a FIRST Robotics Dean’s List Semi-finalist.
Madeleine Schwitters, of FIRST Robotics (FRC) Team 4911 CyberKnights, will represent King‘s Schools at the Pacific Northwest District Championship April 5-8, 2017 where she will compete for the opportunity to represent the team at the World Championships later that month.
The Dean’s List Award began in 2010 to celebrate outstanding student leaders with a strong passion for FIRST.
Schwitters was nominated by CyberKnights coach and King’s High School teacher because of what he described as her natural ability and interest in building, leading groups, programming robots and passion for ensuring every student has the opportunity to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). She has held numerous leadership roles on her FRC and FTC teams including Drive Captain, Mill Lead and CAD Lead for Critical Systems.
She also coaches an FLL team and mentors at robotics summer camps, devoting about 30 hours per week to the team and outreach events, while maintaining a 3.96 GPA.
Schwitters started a Special Olympics Unified Robotics team called Metallic Cousins as a way to connect with her 14-year-old cousin, Gabi Stansberry, who has special needs. Schwitters used her Christmas money to buy a LEGO kit needed to build a competitive battle robot and purchased robot-themed dresses and leggings for them to wear as a uniform. The duo competed in the Special Olympics Unified Robotics Championship event alongside 32 teams and 150 students. They took second place in their division and won the Dazzling Design Award.
Schwitters recently launched a non-profit called Kids and Tech with the mission to help children explore STEM in fun ways and enable access to STEM education and activities. Through Kids and Tech, Schwitters is promoting FIRST Robotics activities as well as camps offering need-based scholarships, low-cost/free community events related to STEM and fun science experiments to do at home.
Schwitters is working to provide scholarships to children in need so they can attend STEM camps. She is also securing donations to provide LEGO Kits, laptops and other equipment to schools and groups looking to start their own STEM programs.
“I am honored to be nominated for this award and am beyond excited to be recognized as a semi-finalist,” said Madeleine. “FIRST has inspired me to pursue engineering, understand the importance of STEM and ensure everyone has access to STEM education. I look forward to representing my team at the next level of competition.”