Sofia, SAA Class of 2019
In past years the robotics at SAA has not gotten the attention it deserves. However, last year when they changed their club to a class with credits, people started to talk about the class even more. The talk from last year has gotten the class more students that are interested in engineering.
This class however doesn’t just offer education on engineering and robots. This class has claimed to try and give people a taste of how it is to work in an actual corporate environment. To get more information on this topic, I interviewed Robert, senior and the class’ “CEO”.
Q: How long have you been in robotics?
A: This is my 5th year.
Q: I’ve heard that your robotics team operates like a company. Can you elaborate on that? And why you guys decided to run your team like that?
A: Yeah definitely. Basically we structure the team like a corporation. This means I’m CEO and I focus on keeping the team on track for our goals. Trinity is president; she keeps track of day to day tasks. Gil is director of finance and information; he’s in charge of staying on top of our money and budget and also organizes the engineering notebook. We have two distinct branches. Mary is director of marketing, meaning she’s in charge of our marketing branch. The marketing team focuses on preparing for outreach events, fundraising, social media, our website, and others. Then we have Elijah, director of engineering, overseeing the engineering teams. We split engineering into 3 subteams this year. Each team focuses on individual parts of the robot. The three subteams have a team lead. The team leads and Elijah meet separately to discuss future plans for the robot and to make sure they’re individual designs don’t conflict with each other.
Q: And why did you guys decided to run your team like a corporation?
A: The corporate structure allows for better organization. We can now more easily separate responsibilities and have people more dedicated to each area. Last year was our first year as a pseudo corporation and our first year integrating the team from a club to a class. We did this for a few reasons. As we have more members with it being a class, we found it vital to organize ourselves.
Q: What are some of your goals for this new season of robotics?
A: Of course we always want to build an innovative robot and to perform well. Additionally, we are always aiming to win awards, especially the inspire award. However, it is one of our bigger, longer term goals to spread FIRST throughout the Adventist school system. To do this we are raising funds to appear to the 2018 NAD conference in Chicago this coming August. Here we will have the ability to reach a huge number of school representatives.
Q: Ok and lastly what are your predictions for this season?
A: Prediction. I think we’ll make a lot of progress this year. We have a lot of new students, but they are learning fast, so I think it’ll continue to get better this year and next year. And I’m sure we’ll raise the money for Chicago which is a whole new opportunity.
It looks like the robotics teams will have an action packed and successful season with the help of their mentors and CEO, Robert. This team is looking not only at the season ahead of them, but at many more successful years down the road.