|The competition is different - everybody really "wins" by all of the great things teams think of to do for other teams and the community. - Chris Fultz [more]|
Name: Ed Sparks
Date Honored: 03-15-2006
Years involved w/FIRST: 10
FIRST Team(s): Siemens VDO Automotive &, Limestone County Technical Career Center (0034)
Quote: Nothing can bring you peace but yourself – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bio: Ed Sparks is a do-it-all mentor who describes himself as a 'jack of all trades, master of none'. Ed has been putting time and effort into team #34 for the last ten years, filling a variety of roles. "I'm usually involved in just about everything on the engineering side of our team. I help draw models of parts and assemblies for our machines as well as other teams through the FirstCadLibrary. I'm also involved with mentoring the engineering, manufacturing, and assembly of the robot. I'm a software engineer professionally so I've been heavily involved in software development. I'm also head of purchasing since I keep in my possession the company credit card."
Ed also had a few funny moments to share with us: "It's hard to pick just one after 10 years so I'll pick a few...The first time I saw Dean's new house – I want one just like it. At the 2004 National Competition when Dave Lavery gave a "Game Ball" to my son (who is disabled) and autographed it with "See You on Mars". Watching Tom Watson of Innovation First do a Funky Chicken/Cotten-Eye-Joe kind of dance thing in the playing field during a "Technical Difficulty" at the Peachtree regional a few years ago."
In his ten years, Ed sure has more than a few accomplishments under his belt. His list includes the following:
10 years as an engineering mentor on FRC Team 34 (Rocket City Robotics).
1 year coaching FLL.
1 year as judge at the Alabama State FLL Competition
Founder of the FirstCadLibrary.
3 years lead inspector at Peachtree regional .
1 year inspector at the Palmetto regional.
Head Inspector & Technical Advisor at the 2005 National Competition.
Ed gave us an inspirational quote about what FIRST means. "A great reminder of just why I wanted to be an engineer in the first place. It's physically, mentally, and emotionally the most exhausting thing I've ever done and I can't imagine my life without it." Lastly, he gave us a short bit of advice for the rest of us FIRSTers. "Take advantage of this opportunity to explore new career possibilities. Don't just be involved in the things that you are experienced in. Relax, take deep breaths, have fun, get plugged in, network with others, go the distance."
Congratulations to Ed Sparks, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.
Nominated By: confidential
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