The Build Team
[ Anne Huang ] [ Nandini Mukherjee ] [
Allie May ] [ Annie Cardinal ]
[ Anna Mirabella ] [ Shreya Ramachandran ] [ Shifrah Aron-Dine ]
Years on Team: 4
I actually have no idea why I joined robotics. Before joining, I had never
programmed anything in my life and most of the things I built were Lego sets,
replete with just the right materials and assembly instructions. Simply put,
I had no prior engineering experience. I envisaged robotics as a place where
robots magically built themselves into perfect machines that would do whatever
my heart desired. Little did I know what I was in for. I remember being completely
lost as a freshman; I didn't know what any of the materials were and I didn't
know which designs were feasible and which ones weren't. I couldn't even fetch
tools for more experienced team members because I didn't know the names for all
the tools. Over time, though, I have learned a lot from robotics - not just about
technical knowledge, but also about how important it is to communicate with each
other when working in a team. We have regular team meetings so we can bounce ideas
off of one another, discuss and troubleshoot problems, check in with everyone, and
have fun. Without communication, the different subteams are unable to collaborate
and create a functional robot. Teamwork is extremely important because, after all,
the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Years on Team: 4
When I first joined Robotics, I didn't really know what I was getting my self into.
I didn't know how it would eat up time or how successfully it would
infiltrate my brain, but I also never imagined how much I would enjoy
the process. Through robotics I learn so much more than the technicalities of
engineering; I learn how to lead younger members and follow direction from older,
wiser mentors. My favorite parts of the entire season are the brainstorming
sessions, the prototyping, and the competitions. When we have just been shown the
challenge for the year, ideas rush into my head, first the extraordinary, then
the plausible. I really enjoy the collaboration at this phase. I love
understanding all the ideas that other members have and explaining my own ideas.
At this stage, our imaginations can create anything and I like this thought
exercise. Prototyping also requires a great deal of imagination, from both the
creator and the viewer. I explain things much better with a roll
of duct tape and pieces of foam core than I ever could with words or drawings.
In prototyping, the robot begins to really take shape. This is an essential step
because the risks are low but the rewards high. Everything we test in the
beginning does not need to be redone at a later stage. The competitions we attend
are amazing. We can finally step back and admire our work - well not really,
there are almost always unforeseen issues that arise with the completed robot.
It is this constant need to think and innovate that keeps me coming back to
robotics year after year.
Years on Team: 4
I am a four year senior on Gatorbotics. I originally joined because I have
had an interest in robots ever since I can remember. Over the years I have
learned many things from robotics including the meaning of teamwork and problem
solving. Being part of the team has taught me how to be a good leader as well as
how to work well with people. Problem solving is also a larg part of being part of
FIRST so I have learned to be flexible with my ideas and views. Being part if FIRST
has showed me how much I love engineering and want to pursue it in the future. I
love the community that we have as a team. During the season I don't spend much
time at home, so it is nice to know the team will support me.
Years on Team: 3
I joined robotics to learn teamwork, mechanical engineering, and to pursue my interests in science. I have learned how to work in a team and how to brainstorm more effectively.
I've learned that I enjoy working with others to solve problems, especially those that FIRST offers.
FIRST has made me realize that I do love robotics and mechanical engineering, and it has made me more
serious in continuing down that path. Once, we accidentally drove the robot into a pot at IDEO and ended up
breaking it, but as a team we fixed it, no one was blamed, and we learned that our robot needed certain improvements
before it would be finished. My favorite thing about robotics is the team atmosphere, the pressure, and the food.
Years on Team: 2
I first joined robotics because I have always been especially interested in math and science and I thought it would be a great way to continue my interests outside of school. I have learned so much through robotics, specifically the design process, creating prototypes to discover what works and what does not, and how to work in team. Robotics has also taught me that it is important to share any idea that you have no matter how out there it may be. From robotics I have learned that it is important to give 100% and contribute as much as you can towards a group. Robotics has helped me to realized that I definitely want to learn more about engineering. One of my favorite things about the Castilleja robotics team is that by the end of the season we are all very close and work extremely well together as a team.
Years on Team: 2
What could be cooler than building a robot? It was straight out of Star Wars.
As I signed up to join the robotics team, I envisioned tinkering with a damaged
Stormtrooper, or giving C3PO a checkup. I knew robotics would not help me fight
intergalactic battles, but it was certainly the closest I would find on this planet.
And I had taken Lego robotics classes before, and been so fascinated by the process
that I wanted to continue trying to give metal and plastic a mind of their own. I've
learned how to brainstorm ideas, the wackier the better, and prototype them to see
if they are feasible. I've learned how to use power tools to attach robot parts
together. I've learned how to write code and download it to the robot's brain. And
I've learned, probably most importantly, how to start afresh when an idea stubbornly
refuses to work the way you wanted it to. FIRST has made me appreciate the beauty of
mechanical parts like never before, and opened my eyes to the opportunities that an
interest in engineering can get you. I'm now seriously considering engineering as
a profession. And if the Sith Lords do invade, I'm pretty handy with an electric drill.
Years on Team: 2
When I first entered the Robotics Lab at Castileja school, I was
overwhelmed by the smell of moldy carpet and junk food. Although I
know robotics is not all about eating and making friends, these are
certainly important parts of my team experience. Since I joined the
robotics team a year ago I have made countless friends with whom I
share common interests in making things work. I've learned that the
most fun place to be on a Friday night is in the Castilleja school
lower level drilling holes in sprinkler pipes and chopping brooms into
tiny pieces. I've learned that it doesn't matter if you're robot is
made of titanium steel or home depot products. The most important
thing about the first robotics competition is to learn to work with
other people late into the night for many, many weeks and still have
fun. I used to want to be a history nerd, but now I've been
converted. Never again will I be found perusing through out of date
history textbooks; rather you will find me with my nose in the FIRST
Safety Guide Manual or an engineering book. I think that no other
experience could better prepare me for the real world then laughing
with a bag of potato chips in one hand, safety glasses on my nose,
friends by my side, and power tools in my grasp.