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David Thompson

FIRST Tech Challenge Program Delivery Partner

Retired NAU Professor

I started my career working as an oil exploration geophysicist in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before moving to Flagstaff, AZ and becoming a physics, engineering, oceanography, and geology teacher for 21 years at Coconino High School. I was named National Science Teacher of the Year in 1999.

I initially got involved with the FIRST Robotics Competition in 2007 after being approached by former United States Representative Ann Kirkpatrick. I’ve been the lead mechanical engineering coach of 2486, the CocoNuts, since 2008.

I started the Coconino Institute of Technology at Coconino High School before being asked to start the NAUTEACH program at Northern Arizona University in 2008. I was a professor at the university for 17 years before retiring. I’m currently living in Flagstaff, enjoying working with the CocoNuts and spending time outdoors.

Fun Fact: Christine Sapio, FTC Co-Program Delivery Partner, was my student teacher in 2006. 

David Thompson
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