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Sen. Suzio Recognizes Meriden Teen for Excellence in Robotics [Meriden Patch]

April 25, 2012

Article as it appeared in the Meriden Patch

Wilcox Tech junior David Powers, son of Debi and Dale Powers of 36 Sweet Birch Drive, Meriden, received a citation from State Sen. Len Suzio (R-Meriden) Tuesday evening at Maloney High School. The citation honors the teen for becoming a Dean’s List finalist at the Northeast Utilities FIRST Robotics Competition.

Powers was one of just two students chosen at the 64-team regional competition held March 29-31 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The honor earns him the right to compete at the FIRST Robotics national championship this week. He heads for St. Louis today.

As captain of GUS Robotics Team 228, Powers plays a central role in designing and building the team’s competition robot. GUS Robotics is open to students from all three Meriden high schools as well as Wallingford’s two high schools. It meets at Maloney.

A member of GUS since he was 3, Powers joined because his father was a mentor for the team.

“I was pretty much born and raised into it,” he says.

His younger sister, Amber, 14, is also active with the team.

The Dean’s List is named for inventor and FIRST Robotics founder Dean Kamen. Criteria for selection include leadership, commitment to the ideals of FIRST, contribution to the team, technical expertise, passion, creativity, entrepreneurship, and the ability to motivate team members.

As a regional finalist, Powers will compete for a spot in the Dean’s List top 10 at nationals. Another GUS Robotics student, Tina Dutra, earned that rare honor last year. She is now studying engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Powers says that making the Dean’s List will help him get into college and get scholarships.

“This will help me get where I need to go,” he says.

He plans to study biomedical or mechanical engineering in college.

“I really like the idea of prosthetics and being able to help someone who’s injured,” he told Patch.

But before that, he has one more year of high school. His main goal for his senior year is mentoring his teammates, he says.

Besides participating in GUS, Powers runs cross country. He also started and runs an in-school robotics club at Wilcox and mentors robotics clubs at Thomas Edison Middle School and the Boys and Girls Club. He is helping to start a club at Washington Middle School.

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