Thunder Down Under storms into world championships, takes out highest honour

26 April 2017

First Robotics Competition team 3132 Thunder Down Under, hosted by Macquarie University, has won the highest award at the FIRST World Championship in Houston USA this past weekend.

The Championship Chairman’s Award honours a team which embodies the ideals of FIRST and one that has acted as exceptional role models for the last five years. Team 3132 joins a select few in the FIRST Hall of Fame and now automatically qualifies for the Championship every year going forward.

Thunder Down Under was recognised for its leadership and innovation of achieving the team’s goal of ‘STEM for everyone, everywhere’. Within the group itself, more than half of the team are women and come from over 40 different high schools in Sydney.

The team has both started and mentored other teams in 12 countries, including China, India, Poland, and among the native people of America, with dozens more in rural, regional, and Aboriginal communities of Australia.

Closer to home, team 3132 has pioneered holiday STEM programs to provide science-based day care for Macquarie’s local community, freely sharing the program with dozens of teams in Australia and globally.

3132 achieved many firsts with this award, including being from someplace other than North America and being founded since 2006. No team in the recent history of FRC has achieved this award in such a short time.

Watch their Championship Chairman’s Award submission video here.

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