East West

Joe Perrotto, part of MOE from the beginning, is a driving force through the entire design and build process. He communicates what it is to be an engineer by his actions. Always in motion and described as a blur, “Action Joe” is constantly busy and makes sure that every student has a job. For MOE rookies, meeting Joe is quite an introduction to FIRST!

Joe works at the DuPont site where MOE meets, allowing time for extra interaction with students who arrive early. His office has become a hangout where Joe explains how any number of things work, such as drive trains, transmissions or even the new technologies he’s working on for DuPont. He is a tough taskmaster and stresses taking responsibility and respecting the resources provided by our sponsors. He constantly emphasizes safety, especially in the machine shop. Joe is devoted to helping us complete our tasks and stays late whenever an adult is needed.

Every fall we attend MOE University, which Joe created to teach skills and the confidence needed at the start of an intimidating build season. Joe and others teach the basics of pneumatics, motor theory, programming, project scheduling, etc. The team is in the process of making MOE U available to other teams via our web site (http://www.moe365.org/moeu.php). When we sent students to join rookie team #1495, their mentor commented that MOE University made them the only students truly ready to take on the challenge of building a robot. Joe is currently designing a robotics course to be given by the team at a local summer school.

Joe demonstrates engineering excellence by showing how to get things done on time and right the first time. We are inspired to do our best to make our contribution meet our team’s standards. One of his favorite sayings is “If it’s not within one thousandth of an inch, then it’ll get thrown out”. Rather than just showing us, he makes us do things ourselves. He gives us general instructions before setting us loose. We feel we are in control of the project, but under his guidance we’re confident we are headed in the right direction.

“Action Joe” has taught us a lot about organization of a large project. He directed the component systems modeling using cutouts for placement and fit. Using a complex checklist, he integrated sub-team efforts so that people completed their tasks in the order needed for robot assembly. Joe also directs our scouting team and leads pre-match competition team strategy sessions.

Joe is involved in every aspect of the Team’s endeavors, including our community appearances. He serves on our executive committee, and judges F.I.R.S.T. events such as off-season and Lego League competitions. He has mentored teams 316, 1370, and 1495. Pam Halter, #316 mentor, says “Joe is truly deserving of this award, always very gracious, approachable, and knowledgeable, with an upbeat personality. Many times 316 has called on MOE for help and guidance, and Joe is always eager to help, working very hard and enthusiastically.”

“Action Joe” is a cool role model who is approachable and inspires us to do nothing but our best. His enthusiasm is infectious. Once our curiosity is aroused, he then demonstrates how and why a “real” engineer goes about completing a task. He makes learning fun and encourages us to expand our educational horizons. Team 365 is proud to nominate Joseph Perrotto for the Woodie Flowers Award. He is a living example of all of FIRST’s values and qualities. Joe is a teacher, an engineer, and a slave driver rolled into one package and presented as “Action Joe”.