Dr. Woodie Flowers, in MemoriamTags: inspire
As most people in the FIRST community know by now, Dr. Woodie Flowers passed away on October 11th. As a team who has met Dr. Flowers twice at the FIRST Championship, this saddened us greatly. Dr. Woodie Flowers was an MIT and Louisiana Tech Alumni, college professor, husband and co-founder of FIRST robotics. Launched in 1989, FIRST was created to inspire kids of all ages to find STEM as a fun, engaging and learnable concept. Ever since its founding, Dr. Flowers was an actively-involved member of the organization. He introduced innovative ways to encourage non-STEM motivated kids to the program, and introduced core values to make FIRST an all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind environment. He coined the term "Gracious Professionalism" as a way to persuade everyone to be competitive while also being respectful to themselves and their opponents. Today, FIRST has become a community - one where students of all ages, nationalities, and skill-sets have learned to make robotics and STEM a crucial part of their lives. From creating one of the most popular robotics classes in MIT, to co-founding one of the longest-lasting robotics programs in the world, Dr Woodie Flowers was a man who had dedicated almost his whole life to inspiring the new generation of inventors. His contribution to FIRST is what inspired many teams, including ours, to spend the better part of our schooling towards learning and spreading the influence of robotics to our communities. Rest in peace Dr. Flowers, you will be missed by us all.