Hi! My name is Laurel. I’m a sophomore at The Nueva School in San Mateo, California, and I’m part of our robotics team, FRC Team 4904 Bot Provoking. We build robots to compete in an international competition run by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), called the FIRST Robotics Competition.
At the recent San Francisco Regional, we made it to the semifinal round, and we won the Quality Award for our robot design and fabrication. Our mentor, Michelle Grau, was named the San Francisco regional finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award for her outstanding leadership and communication.
We just received word that Bot Provoking won a lottery seat to compete at this year's national championship in Houston on April 19-22! While our school will pay for shipping the robot and the team budget can cover the hotel, students need to pay airfare, which is why I’m asking for your help. My goal is to raise $600 before April 17.Can you help me get to Houston?
Read on for more details of how I contribute to the team, and what I've learned by being part of this Bot Provoking family...
My Roles on the Team
I’m on the Fabrication subteam, which is the team that gets to build our robot. This year we built two robots, one for competition (Alexandra) and one for practice (Rasputin). One of the seniors, the main pneumatics engineer, took me under his wing and taught me how to make the pistons and actuators work. Because we have two shifts in our pit crew, I’m the primary pneumatics person on my shift. In addition, another sophomore and I are the Safety Co-Captains, again split up per shift. In these roles, and generally as a member of Team 4904, I’ve been offered opportunities to visit middle schools and demonstrate our practice robot for young students, to inspire them to pursue their interests in robotics. For example, a small group visited fourth and fifth graders at a public school in San Bruno with our practice robot. I got to explain how the pneumatics, drivetrain, and various systems on the robot worked, and we drove it around the cafeteria so they could all see. Their excitement and enthusiasm were amazing.
Being on this team has made me more confident working with the various fabrication machines in our school’s Innovation Lab, to the point of being asked by one of the seniors to be a Peer I-Lab Coach to other students in the school as a whole. I learned how to weld, how to use a computer-guided router, a drill press, a laser cutter, an angle grinder, a dremel tool, a rivet gun, a deburring tool, and more. I’ve become a better team member, a better leader, and improved my collaborative prototyping skills. The team has also been like a second family at school, somewhere everybody knows everybody and we all have fun and create amazing things.
I'm really excited about the possibility of going to Houston to experience the FRC National Championships. To get there, my goal is to raise $600 to help cover my airfare and other related expenses. Any donation would be welcome and greatly appreciated. Help me get to Houston where I can keep learning to inspire others while creating amazing things. Thank you!
(Oh, and you can follow our progress at https://www.thebluealliance.com/team/4904/2017 )