When thinking of the pillars that uphold FRC® Team 1710, Darren Worcester immediately comes to mind. Acting as a support and inspiration, Mr. Worcester is more than the average coach; he is essential not only to our team, but FIRST® as well. He’s involved at every level of FIRST in the Kansas City region, and has been instrumental to its continued growth. He’s made our school a host for FIRST LEGO® League tournaments, founded several FTC teams, and repeatedly lead Team 1710 to international recognition. Mr. Worcester has dedicated his life to promoting STEM. His urging of creativity and imagination ultimately defines him as an indispensable member of Team 1710.
Joining in 2007, Mr. Worcester rapidly became one of the most pivotal members of our team; selflessly donating his time, resources, and talents as a mentor. Mr. Worcester is highly respected with regard to his technical prowess; through his tutelage, the students on Team 1710 have developed keen problem solving skills, honed professional-grade applications of the engineering process, and most importantly, cultivated an impressive and ingenious creativity. Mr. Worcester’s technical skills are not even a fraction of what he has given to Team 1710. Clocking in an estimated yet incomprehensible 10,000 hours of his own time over a 10-year stretch, Mr. Worcester’s grand ideologies have had a hand in not only shaping our team, but our community as well.
Mr. Worcester strongly believes in integrating FIRST ideologies not only into Team 1710, but our school too. As such, he brought FIRST to the classroom, creating 9 FIRST Tech Challenge teams for Juniors and Seniors attending our school's Engineering Academy. “Driven by passion, Mr. Worcester is a large part of why Team 1710’s students are miles ahead of their peers,” says Josh Patterson, a Team 1710 alumni. Using Team 1710 as his spearhead, Mr. Worcester ardently acts as the driving force behind roughly 70% of the outreach done by the team. Mr. Worcester established an annual 500 dollar grant and teacher training program, to help new FIRST Lego League teams get off the ground. Since 2009, Mr. Worcester has hosted STEM related summer camps, directly inspiring 267 kids. Since 2010, Mr. Worcester’s Middle School career fairs impacted 16,800 8th graders. Team 1710 gave tours, planned by Mr. Worcester, at the KC Regional to 1,360 5th graders. At the same event, 130 girl scouts were given tours as well, as part of our You Go Girl (YGG) initiative. Originally conceived by Mr. Worcester, YGG’s mission to promote women in STEM, through posters, trading cards, and speaking engagements, such as presenting to an international audience at the SWE Next conference, and the FIRST Championships.
Mr. Worcester’s zeal is the embodiment of everything FIRST. From his passion, to his desire to share what he loves with others. He is a man willing to give more than anyone else. Team 1710 proudly nominates Darren Worcester for the Woodie Flowers award.