After graduating from Robbinsville High School in 2010, I chose to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. I am earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Management. Currently, my classes involved rigid body dynamics, differential equations, linear circuits and my sophomore design class. The engineering workload, especially at a prestigious engineering institution like Purdue, is very challenging. Knowing how to handle the stress and manage time well is extremely important that the grueling FIRST schedule helped prepare me for.
My FIRST experience was a great time and I encourage everyone I meet to get involved. FIRST makes engineering fun where teams get to compete while still learning valuable information about engineering, communication and themselves. Purdue is proud to be one of the few universities that supports local FRC teams and holds the Boilermaker Regional every year.
FIRST as a whole mirrors what I am learning through my Sophomore Design Class, although not as fun. Both start with a problem, a vague statement of what needs to be accomplished. You brainstorm and come up with what your team actually wants to solve, your problem definition. Then you solve the individual components of this problem, making the most successful product/robot possible. You must be careful of the economics of the project and hope that the result is the best compared to all other teams.
FIRST on its most basic level prepares engineers for what they are expected to do in the real world. It took me 4 years from when I first started robotics to realize that FIRST helps introduce high schoolers to real engineering. You follow the process that all engineers follow when designing a product and most will not realize it until they are hooked. And that is what happened to me. FIRST was a blast and I will continue to try to be involved in it whether with 2590 or helping mentor the teams out at Purdue.
FIRST and engineering in general are amazing opportunities in the technology age we live in. Purdue University is absolutely amazing with a tremendous history of engineering with alumni such as Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan, the first and last men on the moon; Amelia Earhart; numerous Fortune 500 CEOS; and Nobel Prize winners. Being a Big Ten school with a good football team and a perennial favorite for basketball, there is always something exciting going on. I would never choose another school over Purdue.
“Boiler Up! Hammer Down!”
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