The Neocratic Nerds with their 2019-2020 robot. Photo: Courtesy
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Airman for Life: Chapter News

March 1, 2020

Updates on AFA’s activities, outreach, awards, and advocacy.

President of the Thunderbird Chapter, Bobi Oates (far left), joins members of the robotics team at a competition at Rancho High School in Las Vegas where they placed second. Photo: Courtesy

Thunderbird Chapter Sponsors Robotics Team

The Air Force Association’s Thunderbird Chapter (Nev.) is sponsoring a robotics team made up of nine students from various schools throughout Las Vegas. The “Neocratic Nerds” come from Cadwallader Middle School; Betsy Rhodes Elementary School; Anthony Saville Middle School; Lee Antonello Elementary School; Arbor View High School; Northwest Career Tech Academy; and Cram Middle School.

After competing as the Super 7 in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League robotics competition, the team moved up to the FIRST Tech Challenge when team members aged out of the previous competition. Half of the team members went on to the same magnet school, Advanced Technologies Academy [A-TECH].

FIRST was founded in 1989 to peak young students’ interest and participation in science and technology and to encourage the pursuit of STEM careers.

This is the second year AFA has sponsored the team. In 2019, the Neocratic Nerds won the Inspire Award at the Regional competition and took the second- place Promote Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge Nevada State Championship.

A representative from the Thunderbird Chapter has accompanied the students to all competitions.

JROTC cadets from the Trumball Career and Technical Center compete in an individual drill routine at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio. Photo: Courtesy

Steel Valley Chapter hosts JROTC Drill Competition

The Air Force Association’s Steel Valley Chapter (Ohio) hosted its second annual JROTC drill competition October 2019 in Youngtowns, Ohio. It featured an inspection, an academic quiz bowl, drills, color guard, and exhibitions. Forty-one cadets represented their schools from Trumball Career and Technical Center, Ohio; Pine-Richland, Pa.; and Plum Borough, Pa.

Precision was the name of the game. The inspection teams of nine cadets plus one commander checked uniforms and appearance, and quizzed cadets on chain of command, current events, and general military knowledge. Poise and confidence were also judged. Proper military courtesies were in place, and all cellphones were turned off.