John Larock

“As a master communicator, John’s enthusiasm for engineering not only affects countless students in the greater Delaware region in exceptional ways, but every adult he brings into the fold is uplifted by his presence. When the Woodie Flowers Award was created, it was as if they had John in mind.”  Rich Kressley, Mentor of FRC Team 1712, “Dawgma”

Award submission from FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 365 “Miracle Workerz,” aka “MOE,” for John Larock, winner of the 2011 Woodie Flowers Award:

Encouraging Delaware to embrace FIRST has been John’s goal for the past 12 years. Through countless hours, his leadership has brought together Mentors, students, parents and Sponsors to build an organization that positively impacts our tri-state area. John is Team Founder, Executive Team Leader, and President of First State Robotics, Inc. His efforts to bring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to the attention of students regionally have been recognized with a Jefferson Award, Governor’s Volunteerism Award, and FIRST Volunteer of the Year Award. He has coached FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) teams for four years.

John spreads FIRST to the community through hundreds of demos and presentations at schools, community events, and businesses. He is responsible for DuPont’s support of FIRST, which now includes 10 FRC teams and the FIRST Robotics Competition Philadelphia Regional. Partnering with Salem Community College (SCC) and FRC Team 316, “LuNaTeCs,” John founded the off-season Duel on the Delaware, now in its tenth year, and added a book drive and job fair. He developed a school robotics curriculum and co-wrote a robotics chapter in Teaching & Learning Science. John is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Robotics, Inc. nominating committee.

John created MOE U, our fall training program where students learn engineering, machine shop skills, and earn up to 18 college credits at SCC. He challenged students to build a literacy program that has reached thousands of children with team-authored books donated to schools and libraries worldwide. He and a student designed a one-day competition to introduce FIRST and demonstrate Gracious Professionalism to students from Northern Ireland who are learning to work together through the Ulster Project. They’ve adopted it as an annual program.

MOE is recognized throughout FIRST because of John. He is on the planning team for Ramp Riot, an off-season event run by FRC Team 341, “Miss Daisy.” For the past four years, he has presented at the Championship FIRST Robotics Conference and a local Kickoff on such topics as How to Become a Chairman’s Award Winner and Multi-school Teams. He developed MOEmentum in 2003, a web-based weekly guide for rookie FRC teams. Teams worldwide have commented on its value as a tool in helping their programs.

John coaches our strategists, scouts, and award sub-teams. With John’s guidance, the team formed a Student Council that is now more involved with the management of the team.

John mentors MOE’s Mentors, and his guidance and experience are sought after by many FIRST Mentors as well as FIRST staff. He is the go-to resource in the region.

“In a room full of experienced FIRST mentors, John stands out as a shining example in his own unassuming, friendly way. No one has so successfully recruited and retained Mentors & event Volunteers the way he has. As a master communicator, his enthusiasm for engineering not only affects countless students in the greater Delaware region in exceptional ways, but every adult he brings into the fold is uplifted by his presence. When the Woodie Flowers Award was created, it was as if they had John in mind,” said Rich Kressley, Mentor of FRC Team 1712 “Dawgma.”

“Mr. MOE” is the duct tape that holds our team together and he is THE reason FIRST is present in Delaware.

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