NE FIRST

Greetings from New Executive Director Michael Fantom

To my new FIRST family! Please let me share a little about who I am and what makes me tick — like a little Romi Robot!

I grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland the youngest of five children. I studied education at University in the UK and taught in Argentina and Scotland before becoming involved in youth development non-profit work which brought my family to the USA. Currently my wife and I live south of Boston, MA. We have two daughters at university in Ann Arbor, MI and Glasgow, SCO.

As I ponder the six states, I believe it is true to say you are all very fortunate! Each state is beautiful. I have climbed, walked and eaten ice cream in all six states, skied in four, fly fished in three. I am not sure where the best lobster roll lives. I do know there is tremendous value in each state.

Because of you, our teams, our mentors, our sponsors and our volunteers, the FIRST mission is vibrant and alive! I am eager to see our New England Awards Week unfold during the week of May 11th. (see the schedule below). I am especially proud of all the teams who participated in the INFINITE RECHARGE At Home Challenges, Game Design Competition and Innovation Challenge, as well as submitted for the Dean’s List, Woodie Flowers and Chairman’s Awards.

Let me share that my plan for New England FIRST is to get out as much as I can virtually and physically and LISTEN. Listen to how we engage and support current teams and make sure we can keep the progression alive. Listen to how we will work together to allow as many young people in our communities throughout New England to access all programs from FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Discover through the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) world — if they choose to!

I will work hard to be a strong advocate for all our New England programs with FIRST headquarters. We will be alert to when each state allows group gatherings. I know we all want our teams to participate when safe. I was pleased to  participate in seven Town Hall meetings last week with several Board members, FIRST Senior Mentors and our FRC Team Mentors to gain insight and share our vision for the future.

And finally it is my wish to make STEM/STEAM opportunities fun, engaging and accessible to all. To do that we will need resources and use these resources wisely. I ask you all to share your wisdom and ideas in person, via email and text, or on the phone. We are New England STRONG!

My cell is 401.215.6540 and email is mfantom@nefirst.org. I look forward to hearing from you.