My FIRST Experience in Robotics

    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.

- Bao 

Ted Kim