HomeBensalem TimesBensalem student named FIRST Robotics Dean’s List Finalist 

Bensalem student named FIRST Robotics Dean’s List Finalist 

Ethan Zhao was nominated by his Fightin’ Robotic Owls teammates

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Bensalem High School junior Ethan Zhao, member of the BHS robotics team The Fightin’ Robotic Owls, was recently named a Dean’s List Finalist at FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championships.

Named after FIRST Robotics founder Dean Kamen, the FIRST Robotics Dean’s List recognizes outstanding student leaders within the FIRST community who demonstrate exceptional technical expertise, leadership and a commitment to spreading STEM education. Being nominated for the Dean’s List signifies recognition for one’s significant contributions to the FIRST program, serving as a role model and inspiring others in the pursuit of robotics and innovation. Zhao was nominated for this prestigious award by his robotics teammates.

In his nomination essay, Zhao’s teammates said about him: “Ethan is a passionate leader who leaves his mark on those he meets. His voice bellows through the lab and his charisma, knowledge and confidence carry with it. Throughout any [team] meeting he can be found engaging with other subteams, driving conversations and demonstrating the value of asking questions … He understands a team is only as strong as its members, and pushes every student to be their best.” 

In addition to the written essay submitted by his teammates, Zhao also had to participate in two rounds of interviews. He said, “Becoming a Dean’s List Finalist would not have been possible without all the support behind me from my friends and mentors on the amazing robotics team. Even though it’s an individual award, I am honored to represent Team 5401 at FIRST World Championships.” 

Zhao, along with three other finalists in the region, will find out at a special luncheon this month at FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, Texas if he has been selected as one of the 10 Dean’s List Award Winners. As a winner, he would receive:

  • A unique trophy and recognition at FIRST World Championships
  • A written letter of recommendation from FIRST Robotics leadership to the college(s) or employer(s) of his choice
  • A team registration credit toward next season’s $5,000 registration fee
  • Invitation to a Dean’s List Award Summit at FIRST Robotics HQ in Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Exclusive access to the Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant, an annually-renewable $10,000 grant toward college tuition
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