My Involvement in FIRST Robotics has been the single best experience in my short engineering career. It kick-started the learning process, giving me valuable experience that I could never have gotten anywhere else. I was the lead mechanical designer starting my sophomore year, which put me in a great position to learn on the job. Each year the robots became more sophisticated and performed better and better. I learned pretty much all I know as far as hands on skills (Basic shop skills, welding, machining, Carbon Fiber Layup, CAD, CAM, and wiring to name a few) though this program which has put me in a the fortunate position in college to continue expanding and improving these skills instead of merely learning them for the first time.
Because of my amazing experiences with the team I have decided to stay involved with the team and mentor remotely from Pennsylvania. I am able to stick around for the first week or two because of winter break, and then I help out with the design of the robot through skype, advising the students during this challenging phase. I have been overwhelmingly proud of the team as they have grown into a world-ranked and respected team, making it to nationals the last two years and even setting a world record for a high score in May 2014!