College Essays

As people are rushing to get their applications in on time, it might be quite beneficial if we share our stories to get different perspectives on robotics, which without a doubt will be a major topic of our college essays.

Eugene

P.S. I’m currently working on my essay to Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Science in which I’m talking about robotics as an educational experience. I will try to post it as soon as I finish.

P.P.S. By viewing this thread you are agreeing NOT to plagiarize any work displayed.

Theres two threads that aren’t directly about college essays – but essays were mentioned in them.

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15407&highlight=Essays
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15473&highlight=Essays

Carry on…
As you were…
etc…

:slight_smile:

I apologize for the delay. Here is my essay as I promised. Feel free to comment on it.

Eugene

P.S. Special thanks goes to my good friends Maria, Mike and Sergie for turning my piece of junk into a presentable essay.

Educational Experience

Machines, the remarkable creatures created by Man since the Industrial Revolution have sparked my interest from an early age. Kindled by those discoveries throughout much of my life, the desire to become one of those creators burst into flame, but until one fine morning that seemed like a very remote possibility. That morning the school’s PA system squeaked and a deep voice made the announcement, “Everyone interested in participating on the Robotics team please report to room 301 after school.” 

As soon as the school bell proclaimed the end of the day, I rushed to the meeting. There, I got my first glimpse at the challenge created for that year’s competition; however, the rest of the manual was not available at that moment. Eager to learn more, I looked up the competition manual online and for the rest of the day I was absorbed into reading every piece of information available. To my huge surprise the materials that were soon to arrive were not some Lego’s or lets-glue-this-together kits, but industrial parts that were used in cars, machines and other real life applications.
With my newfound knowledge I set off for the next day’s meeting. There we engaged into a passionate discussion of the design for our robot. At times the excitement ran so high that our mentor had to calm us down. However, there were major obstacles between us and success. This was our first year and unlike the great majority of other teams we did not have engineers to guide us through, but we managed to learn as we went along. All of a sudden the torturous formulae and theories we learned in class became useful tools that we needed to solve the problems laying ahead of us.
What was even more amazing about this challenge is that unlike one-dimensional projects assigned in school, the success of this depended on the intimate integration of every imaginable discipline. When building and designing, physics and math served as our guides. Then the design had to be carefully drafted and made using our own hands. After the robot was built, the programmers took over to make it come alive. The mastery of diplomacy and good communication skills of our teammates helped us find the sponsors needed to support us. Artistic ability became useful when the crate in which we shipped our robot had to be decorated. Furthermore the entire process had to be videotaped in order to attract more future sponsors.
Despite my deep involvement in the design of the robot, the biggest lessons that I learned were not in engineering or physics. I saw that only through close cooperation and understanding of other people involved in a project is it possible to succeed as an engineer. After all, no matter how good a machine looks on paper, without the support of others it is destined to remain there. Thus, the greatest thing that FIRST showed me was that a career in science and engineering is a reality for anyone willing to work and accept the challenges. However there still remains a question – what are those challenges?

Here is my essay that got me into WPI last year… (thanks to Lora Knepper for helping me with parts of it)

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  It seemed to move with a grace surpassed only by that of nature.  Its long, gleaming aluminum arm seemed to flow like nothing I had ever seen before.  There I stood, in utter amazement at how a bunch of high school students, a few engineers and a single teacher could build such a contraption.  A few scraps of metal, some wire, a few motors, pneumatics and an idea seemed to bind together to create a machine with its own mind  I soon forgot that there were drivers controlling this masterpiece by remote control, as it moved in such a way that made it take on a life of its own.  It was that day I stepped from 8th grade into high school through FIRST robotics.

I had no idea what I was in for. FIRST is an acronym that stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”  It is a international robotics competition that pairs high schools, some middle schools and corporate America as teams in an action packed, “sport of minds” founded in 1992 by former WPI student Dean Kamen.  At this time, I did not know that each team puts in well over 2000 man-hours into their robot, spends long nights and weekends at their school or work area building the robot, or that you basically give up your life from January until April and devote it entirely to this program.  My knowledge of that would come later.  

  The first meeting of this FIRST Robotics team was in January.  We spent six sleepless, tiring yet exhilarating weeks designing and building our robot.  Each year in Florida there is a national competition, which all of the teams across the nation are invited to attend.  After those long weeks of work and fun, I didn’t expect much, I mean, it was only a robotics competition, right? Wrong. It was while I was walking across the expanse of fake green grass covering Epcot Center's parking lot to see a grandstand comparable to a football stadium that I realized just how wrong I was.  Fourteen thousand people I was told, fourteen thousand people were coming to watch and cheer on their wondrous hunks of metal competing.

  During the design process that year, we realized that we would need fairly complex software to allow the robot to climb an eight-inch step. I slaved furiously at a laptop.  Some of the other students called me, “that kid that sits at the computer” since they didn’t know my name. When I emerged from my corner, the robot was complete.  I loaded the software into it, and ran it.   The robot sprang to life, and to both my amazement and everyone else’s, it worked.  The team leader, Mr. Mothersele – though known to all of us simply as “Mr. Mo” could only say that the robot running on my software was, “poetry in motion.”  This was the first time in my life that I had ever accomplished something that seemed to be worthwhile.  A feeling of excitement shot through me.  I had helped the team.

  I am now heading forward into my fifth year of the FIRST program. I have gone from being, “that kid in the corner” to team captain.  In these past years, I have watched myself and the team grow. The knowledge I have gained far surpasses the four medals I have hanging on my walls. Students have graduated, and others have filled in their places.  Now it is my turn to graduate. I have the task of passing on what I have learned so the team can continue to function seamlessly.  Who knew that a robotics club would take me this far way back when I hopped on board in 8th grade?

This is the essay that is hopefully gonna get me into either Wentworth, RIT, or Clarkson

          If you had told me four years ago that I would be building a robot to compete against other robots in an educational competition, I never would have believed you. Most of my High School career I have been on my high school’s F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) team. Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and I-Bot, started F.I.R.S.T; I believe that because of F.I.R.S.T. my life has been changed forever. I’ve learned that if I put my mind to it I can do anything.

My very first day on the team I knew nothing about robots or any of that mechanical stuff, but days became weeks, weeks became months, and months became years. Over this time I have learned many things about my self, such as my public speaking skills and my outgoing personality. The development of these skills got me chosen as presenter for most of the demos that we conducted with our robot. Some of the demos took place at the Boston Museum of Science, where sometimes I would be talking in front of +200 people. 

During the six week build season the team had to build the robots I realized what a commitment I had to my self to finish jobs and to the team to finish the robots it self. When the second year rolled around I was given many more responsibilities on the team such as: Student Representative, PR Director, Student Coach and Student Pit Lead. All of these positions I had to work on at one time or another, some time all at the same time. During competitions I had to keep the pit in order, talk to other team making our robot look good, and when our matches came up going out with the team to tell them what to do with the robot strategy wise. During my second year I also had to deal with many other things pertaining to the team such as School switches and advisor changes.

From my years being on the FIRST team I have learned that to be true to your self is to be true to everybody else. If I can take what I learned from the team and apply it to College I believe that I can be a Deans list winner and go on to do many things in the field of my choosing.