Student Impact Essays

My FIRST Experience by Selena V. FIRST Team 3574

“L.O.V. E. it’s a mystery. Where you’ll find me. Where you’ll find. All is love, is love, is love, is love…”—All is Love, Karen O. & The Kids

The rookie All Star award goes to team #3574 High Tekerz. Listening to the speech, sitting there in my seat. My heart skipped several beats, it became hard to breathe. I literally was about to pass out! But hearing fritz get up and start screaming before the guy even announced our team brought me back from faintville. I wasn’t sure if our team was going to get that award. I knew we were a complete shoe in for it though. A first year rookie team made it to the top eight all by themselves, well with the help of our amazing mentors, and teams like the Skunkworks and Tee robotics. But we made it! We made it to championships in Saint Louis!! Even if we didn’t win, I’m still proud of my team. Even though we barely knew each other when we began to, we got to know each other well through our hard work.

So many stories, stories of a lifetime. All came from joining robotics. I remember the first day I learned about a robotics team at Highline. Half asleep and bored I wandered in the gym with my head hung low thinking wow this is such a waste of precious time. Until out of the corner of my eye I spy Thomas and a robot! I literally think my heart skipped a beat when I saw that robot running around on our gym’s floor. I walked over looking around at the information, and met the nicest woman who I had no idea at the time would be our team mom. Every meeting, to our very first robotics meeting, I still remember. Robotics became a part of my life, it became a part of my heart. One thing I can say is robotics kept me going. Going for my goals in life, and keeping my head up.

Then, before we knew it, regionals snuck up on us. Heading out early in the morning to catch the light rail, getting into Qwest field to set up. Sleep just flew right out of our eyes while excitement took its place. I can still feel the feeling of winning our first match run through my body. The feeling I got when I saw we tied with Skunkworks! A single robot, our sexy little Wilson, tying with Skunkworks amazing engineering excellence robot! Then came Saturday, we were the first match up. First to start the day off. Jittery, tired, all the crazy emotions running through our head. I couldn’t even imagine it. Until I looked up in the crowd and saw our whole team standing up in the crowd holding our teams’ numbers up. I can’t even explain how happy, excited, and HAPPY I was when I saw that! Even though we kept losing our matches, I still had my head up.

“3574 would like to invite team 3574 to ally with us …” I don’t think I’ll ever live this down, or ever forget this! But being up there, in the spot light; in front of three hundred people; making them laugh without intention. It felt good. It was weird to see my team mates, not really screaming out team numbers. Except for Fritz and Taeya. But being out there representing my team it was such an honor for me!

One of the many aspects I learned from joining robotics is family. We really didn’t know each other when we first meet. We nodded our heads, acknowledged each other, we didn’t really feel comfortable with each other at the time. But as the build season came, and the weeks progressed we came closer together. We bonded through many hilarious stories, and we tried to get the ultimate group hug! But through every high five, every hug, and every laugh we became more like family. Diana as our mom, and every mentor as our parent.

I can’t express how much joining robotics has changed my life. I can’t even express how amazing everyone in my team is. With every day, hour and minute we spend together. I find a new story to add in my memories. A new joke I can look back on. It just amazed me on how a robotics team can bring people together. People who are different in their own ways, different colors, genders, ethnicity’s, country! Robotics has been a fantastic experience for me. An experience that I’ll surely miss when I’ve all but finished my job in high school.

“We carry on our shoulders expectations, loneliness, and a little bit of worries. We go on walking in our individual paths. Even if we look back to our past, tomorrow will not be there, but I will not forget.”—Cherry, An Café

I LOVE YOU HIGH TEKERZ!

Robotics Essay by Dirir A. FIRST Team 3574

One cannot depict nor describe the impact such a program like FIRST Robotics has done on a student such as myself. This program raised my level of confidence in every field. When I first heard about FIRST Robotics on September 29th 2010, I thought to myself “Wow, this club/ program is very unique, and I want to be part of it … but, I can’t, I do not like engineering therefore I will be of no help to my supposed to be future comrades, I will only be a drag”.

So I just left it alone entirely, completely focusing on other more important matters until; the Robotics Team’s Coach Ms. Schulze came to my first period class CAP Biology) and asked that come out to speak to her, so I did. She asked me “Dirir, Dirir, why do you not come to Robotics, we need someone like you”, I said “what? Although I consider myself to be great in every field, building some Robot is not my specialty, I will be of no help”, she then said “just come by, and see for yourself’, I then said “ok, I will stop by”. During the entire day, I was constantly thinking, “you know, I already know this will be a waste, so I won’t go”.

Afterschool as I was walking outside the school, I saw Ms. Schulze, so I felt bad, because I said I would come. So I followed her without her noticing. Then we entered the shop, and first thing I noticed was the happiness and excitement and at the same time the focused, attentive atmosphere. These students had one thing in their mind, to be the best, and accomplish their goal of a complete Robot. This is when I felt like I was meant to be part of this team; it was connection at first sight. I began shadowing the experienced students, and learning step by step.

I never knew anything in the engineering field, nor was I interested, but there was that obligation to make my team the best there is. So I began searching for what I can do that I like to do that will benefit my team. I saw Ms. Schulze working on our teams Business Plan. I said “cool, can I help”, and she said “most definitely I was about to ask for your help”. Sooner or later, I completely took over the Business Plan, and with the foundations our Coach Ms. Schulze set on the Business Plan, I expanded and began interviewing each and every one of my teammates on what they think about certain things. I said to myself upon completing the Business Plan “oh my god, I did it, I helped my teammates succeed, I was not a drag”.

During this time frame, I was busy regulating several other organizations that rely on me to be there for them, as well as coordinate them, likewise learning more and more about the HIV, and all its affects. It was not until after I began working on the Business Plan that I had enough confidence to actually do something with all the research I had been doing in the HIV field. I finally created my own protocol for a potential cure, not treatment cure for the HIV virus. I was so motivated to the point that I personally contacted the Director of the Seattle Biomedical Center, and asked for her audience to look over my Protocol, and gave her my story of how I came from I refugee family with numerous cases of HIV, and how I have the opportunity to be here today, so that I can aid my nation, and stop all cases of HIV. From there onward, I began meeting with her frequently, and she was so impressed with me that she personally contacted the Arizona Biomedical Commission, and requested that I further my HIV research their during the summer of 2011.

Coming from an unstable family, with a single mother who worked, and is still working so hard to make her children successful, so that they can eventually go out to the world and positively affect all nations, like she wanted to when she was our age is tough. With a family such as my Robotics team, I can have the support and love that I need to push me onward. I am proud to be part of team High Tekerz, and will always be here for all its members and Mentors, and love them unconditionally, they have given me so much, and now it is my turn to return the favor.

My FIRST Experience by Eber M. FIRST Team 3574

Being part of the High Tekerz has been a life changing experience. At the beginning of my senior year I was concerned because the senior year is suppose to be really fun, but I wasn’t having fun. I also was feeling depress because most of my friends had already graduated, some moved to another school, and others had different classes or had different lunch.

When I joined the Robotics team my only goal was to do my senior project and be done with robotics, because I use to think “what’s fun about robotics?” But after spending some time with the mentors, and team mates I notice that I was starting to enjoy being on the team. I remember that when I came to school I couldn’t wait for the day to be over so that I could go home. Now I can’t wait for the day to be over so that I can go to robotics.

I’m a person who doesn’t like to show my emotions that often and when we went to regionals we were all dancing, jumping, and yelling. I remember that after the regional ended the next day I woke up and felt so weird because I didn’t have anything to do I was getting use to getting up early riding the train to go to the competitions and spend the entire day with my friends and have elevator parties.

Its’ hard for me to describe how robotics has changed my life it’s something you have to live in order to understand it, but it has been a really good experience for me. It’s great to spend my time with my team mates … my friends … my family.

My FIRST Experience by Jacob E. FIRST Team 3574

When people say that 3574 is a club I get a bit upset. We are more than a club, we are a mini business, we are a FIRST team, we are a family. When I joined FIRST team 3574 I had already been doing robotics at another school for a year but wanted a new environment to learn more about engineering. After being part of team 3574 for a week I was asked “What do you want to focus on?”. I had no idea what to say because I was never asked what I wanted to do before. I kind of thought about it for a minute and then said “Programming, I want to learn programming.” That small decision has changed my opinion of what I want to do with my life.

Before joining FIRST team 3574 I was set on becoming a mechanical engineer, but after being exposed to programming my whole opinion changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to work on design manufacturing of parts and assembly but writing lines of code and making things happen is such a satisfying feeling. On the off season following our trip to the nationals in St. Louis I took upon myself to single handily build our website from the ground up. I was so inspired to learn about this wonderful world of computer science I taught myself HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, and variants of C.

Without this team I would not have been introduced to my first programming mentor David. David is a QC guy for amazon and has always tried to keep me in line. Without him I don’t think I would have been pushed to expand my knowledge and achieve excellence in programming logic. This year I have two new mentors that I am grateful for, Charles and John. I enjoy having Charles and David there at the same time because they work together and it is Developer VS. QC (ah, good times). John has not been here for as long but I can tell that he is going to be a fun mentor to work with because he is a QC guy from Visa. Look out Charles, Its two VS. one now!

I look forward to going to robotics because everyone has grown so close. I love the environment because you can joke around with anyone but when it comes down to it everyone clicks into production/business mode to work as a single unit to get everything accomplished. With our strong business team run almost entirely by new members this year has kept us going and as on track as a FIRST team can be with their 6 weeks of build.

Well after these years of being part of FIRST team 3574 this is my last year of being a student on the team. With all I have learned I look forward to coming back to pass my knowledge onto the new students next year. I hope to take what I’ve learned and go for a degree in computer science and get an internship at Amazon working with or beside my wonderful mentors. I also hope one day I can get together some alumni of our team and create a new team of our own to work with FIRST team 3574 and give them a run for their money. If there is one thing I have learned being part of FIRST it’s that you don’t need to do anything alone, there are always people who are willing to step up and lend you a helping hand and guide you in the direction you want to go.