In the sixth grade I left my sketchbook behind in the gym during my very first middle school dance. Back then, leaving my sketchbook was nothing more than a minor inconvenience, but strangely enough, I’d have to say this was the beginning of my experience in Robotics. About a week after this incident, a science teacher named Ms. Bandy approached me. She had seen the sketchbook I left behind, and was fairly impressed. She told me the team could really use my help with designing and how I should really consider joining the school’s Robotics team.
At the time, I had no idea what she was talking about. I couldn’t fathom the thought of me being on a Robotics team. I had no interests in robots, computers, or even in science. To be honest, I was terrible at all three of those things. Besides, what would they have me design? I dismissed this idea quickly, as flattered as I was. Three years later, I find myself staying up past midnight making button designs.
The first time I attended a Robotics meeting, I was completely surprised. I thought it’d be boring, despite how fondly my friends had spoken about it. Actually, it was quite the opposite. Immediately, I was told that I didn’t have to do anything but draw. There were a few guidelines here and there, but I wasn’t bombarded with strict requirements or restrictions. I was given the most creative freedom that I could ask for. Naturally, I continued to attend these meetings every week. In fact, Robotics started to become the only club that I’d go to, despite having signed up for five.
The first time I saw my design be made into a physical button, I decided that Robotics had become more important to me than my 6th grade self could ever anticipate. It was a big team that was composed of people that you’d never expect to see in a Robotics club, and they didn’t just sit around and talk about robots. To me, this team has become a way to share my creativity with others who might not know anything about art, but it works out since I don’t know a lot about robots either. It genuinely makes me happy to see that my work is being appreciated in a place other than art class. For that reason, I’ve decided that I’d be sticking around for as long as possible.
In comparison to other schools, The Preuss School UCSD is significantly smaller considering the fact that there are seven grades. When middle schoolers and high schoolers share the same campus, students gain an insight to all the opportunities that are available. Although at times it seems like an unbearable change, the extracurriculars and electives are very anticipated.
One of the after school clubs that we always heard about was Robotics. Throughout the years, we watched our peers walk around in their Team 812 sweaters and return from competition exuberant, telling stories of their ecstatic experience. It made many want to be a part of the community of students that are passionate about STEAM. Two of our impactful science teachers, Ms. Bandy and Mr. Kim, encouraged upcoming freshman at the time to join the Robotics club after school. We were two of them.
On our first day of Robotics we were nervous due to the large amount of people that had showed up, but we felt very welcomed and excited. We met the officers of each committee as they gave us a brief summary of what each committee does. With the information given to us, we decided which committee we thought would be best for us based on our interests. We are able to use our skills that we already have and develop new skills so that we can contribute to the group.
As months went by into the school year, we found ourselves getting wrapped up in school work. Many, including the both of us, began to attend less meetings. This was not because of the lack of interest we found in Robotics, but because of sport seasons starting, focus on a education, and even personal problems. This brought the consideration of perhaps quitting Robotics. However, we both can agree that we did not want to stop attending. We decided to find time in our schedules because of its important to us. We wanted to stay because Robotics helped us develop skills, bonds, and a love for STEAM.
- Kimberly and Lucia
Follow our team's very own news reporter Juan Garcia as he gets the inside scoop into our robot's progress! Along with new updates on our robot, we have a special interview feature from our team's VP Tech Hugh Tran! Look forward to our Comedic Commercial from our fellow members!
Team 812 Midnight Mechanics released their first Midnight Show of the season! Watch our team's own news reporter Juan Garcia as he interviews fellow team members about Chairman's, Outreach events such as: FLL Tournament, Girl's in STEAM Conference, and San Diego's Women's March. Mr. Garcia also gets an inside scoop into the robot's progress on the prototype.