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Area resident named robotics mentor of the year

• Apr 4, 2018 at 2:00 AM

North Fairfield resident Orion DeYoe was selected as mentor of the year at the Buckeye Regional Competition in Cleveland last weekend.

He is the founding mentor for FIRST Robotics Competition team, Stellar Robotics.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a worldwide program which has been offering hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) opportunities to students for more than 25 years. Students can also develop such skills as public speaking, writing, and business administration. They can work on website development, computer animation, videography and statistics.

The Woodie Flowers Award recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job of motivating the students on his team. Mentors are nominated by students and selected on the basis of a student-written essay.

Here's what essay writer Electra Norwood had to say about DeYoe: "A mentor is someone you can rely on, someone to go to when you need it. Whether that is for robot help or life advice, they are always there to keep the team positive and running. Our mentor Orion DeYoe does just that and so much more. The team could not run without our other mentors, but Orion is the powerhouse of the entire team. As an inspiring young engineer, he created his own company straight out of high school called Competition Robot Parts LLC. He designs and manufactures parts to help FRC teams build great robots despite any manufacturing limitations they might face. Without Orion, our team would not be able to thrive the way it does today."

At age 21, DeYoe is certainly one of the youngest mentors ever to receive this award. He now goes on to compete at the World Championship event in Detroit at the end of this month.

DeYoe began his career in FIRST as a freshman student team member on The Mavericks robotics team out of EHOVE Career Center in 2011. Upon graduation in 2014, he started Stellar Robotics, which serves all of Richland County and meets at the Kehoe Center of North Central State College in Shelby.

"We chose Richland County because there weren't any FIRST teams there," DeYoe said. "None of the students in that area had the same opportunities I had."

Those opportunities, along with the mentors from The Mavericks, helped make DeYoe who he is today, and he's in good company as a Woodie Flowers Award winner. The Mavericks lead mentor, Jim McIntyre, was selected for the same award in 2016 at the Palmetto Regional in Myrtle Beach, SC.

For more information on Stellar Robotics and its programs, visit www.firstroboticsmansfield.com.

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Below is the complete essay written by Norwood:

A mentor is someone you can rely on, someone to go to when you need it. Whether that is for robot help or for some life advice, they are always there to keep the team positive and running. Our mentor Orion DeYoe does just that and so much more.

Orion has been in FRC since he was a freshman in high school. Like it has for so many others, this became his life passion, and he wanted to share it. In order to do that, he created an amazing K-12 program called Stellar Robotics through FIRST. For four years, Orion has run the high school team along with several other mentors that joined along the way. Of course, the team could not run without these other mentors, but Orion is the powerhouse of the entire team. He leads the design team after kickoff, laser cuts the robot parts for the team, instructs the build team, leads the programming team, helps plan strategy on the field, and best of all: he keeps the team in positive spirits.

As an inspiring young engineer, he has worked at several manufacturing companies, including his own company he created straight out of high school called Competition Robot Parts LLC. He designs and manufactures parts to help FRC teams build great robots despite any manufacturing limitations they might face, answering any questions they might have about the parts, and always showing gracious professionalism towards fellow teams. Orion is not only an amazing and all-around fun mentor, but he is a very intelligent young man as well. Whenever someone does not understand a piece of code, how a mechanism on the robot is put together, or how something on the robot operates, he is always there to teach students and help them learn.

In accordance with his work on the high school level team, Mentor DeYoe is available to our FTC, FLL, and JrFLL teams as well, inspiring younger generations that will later graduate into FRC where they will build bigger and better robots. One of our JrFLL students was heard saying, “I want to build big robots like Orion.” Orion is a role model for students of all ages. He has also been mentoring FRC team 5740 in CAD and design, helping inexperienced students understand how to design their robot.

Like FIRST teams always say, it is so much more than simply building robots; because of Orion’s vision, we have the opportunity to create amazing relationships with talented people that will stay with us even as we go off to make the world a better place.

This describes our nominated mentor Orion DeYoe and his relationship with Stellar Robotics. He is our go-to guy for whatever issues or questions we may have. Without Orion, this team would not be able to thrive the way it does today. Our team is constantly growing and improving, thanks to the work that he does. Stellar will continue to grow and thrive under his leadership.

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