I am a founding member and student leader on FRC Team 5854: GLITCH. My hundreds of hours of work on GLITCH have schooled me on the engineering process, STEM service, and deadline-based project management, all of which have drastically affected my everyday life and plans for the future.
Scroll down for...
GLITCH Out Program
Teamwork & Leadership
GLITCH Out in the Community | 5854's STEM Outreach Program
I founded and lead GLITCH Out, the team's service program. GLITCH Out includes many initiatives that I also began and lead: with each new project or service day, I coordinate each event, handle the staffing, and lead the programming. Every time I invite my teammates to attend as educators they always rise to (and beyond) the challenge, not only making GLITCH Out possible, but making it a huge success. Team GLITCH won a 2017 Engineering Inspiration Award for our service work, and we have only expanded our efforts since, as recently as this summer with new camps and events.
Future Builders was my first GLITCH outreach project. I originally envisioned it as a weekly, after-school Lego MINDSTORMS education program for young kids and teens at the local Boys and Girls Clubs, but at the suggestion of my teammates, it has now grown to include a weekly homework tutoring session as well. I am still amazed at how even the youngest kids find the construction and programming of these bots intuitive, and can easily build with no prior experience; if there is anything that Team GLITCH has learned, it's that all kids have a great aptitude for STEM in some form, but you have to get them access early to keep them from losing interest later in their lives.
GLITCH Green: Environmental Engineering bridges the gap between robotics and the environment. I have maintained a dialogue with many of the local organizations I worked with for my Hornaday Silver Medal, and was able to use these contacts to provide opportunities for Team GLITCH to participate in Asheville's environmentally-minded community. Our biggest event partners us with Asheville GreenWorks at the quarterly Hard 2 Recycle event, where people come from all over the region to legally and safely dispose of electronic waste.
GLITCH STEM Summer, my most recent addition, runs summer camps for local kids. The curriculum is similar to that of Future Builders, but because we usually have a week with a single group, we can go much more in-depth with our tasks and challenges. We teach these camps at the Boys and Girls Club (this summer was specifically targeted at females, who are underrepresented in STEM fields) and the Asheville Museum of Science. Us students have a lot of fun working with these kids, and, as always, my teammates do a terrific job teaching them and fielding their endlessly imaginative questions.
Teamwork & Leadership | our success and my role
In 2015, a robotics mini-competition was put on for high school students at UNC Asheville. That program eventually grew into Team GLITCH. Before the season kicked off, I designed our logo, created our name, and was elected as captain by my fellow students.
2016 was our rookie season. I was the captain and served as a project lead on the mechanical subteam. I also served as the field coach at World Championships and was on the pit crew for the entirety of the season.We won the 2016 Rookie All-Star Award at the North Carolina state championship, and we competed at the World Robotics Competition in St. Louis. I also founded GLITCH Out in the Community in our rookie year.
The 2017 season provided more difficulties than our first season did. I continued to serve as captain, a mechanical project lead, and on the pit crew, but we experienced turbulent mentorship changes (including the unexpected departure of both of our coaches) and did not make it past the North Carolina State Championship. A local G.E. engineer stepped up as our coach and gave me the green light to lead the writing of a team handbook and application for the 2018 season. I proposed the restructuring of our team into a student leadership board and worked with my teammates to reach out to as many other teams as possible to get advice. The 2018 season is looking to be a great one, and as it is my last year, I would love nothing more than to go back to the World Championships with my team.