Question of the Week Returns!!! (1/28/08)

After a 3.5 year hiatus, “Question of the Week” returns! This feature used to be one of the CD favorites, and I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of some great people, like Andy Grady, M. Krass, Ken Leung, and all the others who contributed to this feature in the past. It’s been a long while since we’ve done this - long enough that no current high school student was around for the last one! - so I’m excited to introduce a new generation to this great weekly standard.

The plan is simple: every week (usually on Monday), I will post a new question about some FIRST-related topic. Then, the discussion will begin! I reserve the right to bring back some classic questions - it’ll be great to see what a new group of people will think of, a few years later. I also am open to suggestions for new questions - just send me a PM with the subject having “Question of the Week” in it.

So now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the first question!

Question of the Week (1/28/08): Which one person in FIRST has inspired you the most?

This is a great opportunity to also remind you that you can nominate this person for the Woodie Flowers Award (see Section 5, Page 17 of the FIRST Manual), or Unsung FIRST Heroes. Get some recognition for the people who make your FIRST experience great!

Summer of 2005, I was a new hire for Southport High School. I had inherited the coaching position of a sport with which I was thoroughy unfamiliar, and knew none of the students.
I had seen our robot before, in its closet, but I had no idea of its function or purpose - I didn’t even know how to turn it on.
There were eight students on the team at the time, and they told me we were to take the robot over to Perry Meridian (234) so they could help us get ready for this IRI thing.
I had never been to PMHS before, but I knew that Perry and Southport were bitter rivals. One of the first characters I see over there is this skinny kid with a huge blue mohawk and piercings all over his ears.
He introduced himself as Sam and helped us get our robot into performance shape. I could not imagine a nicer, more sincere individual.
This was my introduction to the FIRST philosophy, and I was hooked.
From what I gather, Sam is pursuing his bachelor’s degree and helps emcee and color commentary at FIRST events with Collin Fultz (also a 234 alum).
I never found out Sam’s last name, but I imagine it won’t be long before everybody knows it.

The one person who has inspired me the most is our team leader, Dave Campbell. I’m in my fourth year of FIRST. My first year, the program was my senior design project and I knew nothing about the team, the competition, or its kids. I met Dave first and his personality and spirit captured me immediately. His ability to motivate people and bring the best out of you inspires me to be the best mentor I can be. I was hooked from that moment on, not just from the challenge of helping the kids design & build a robot in 6 weeks, not just from the excitement & spirit of a FIRST competition, but from that first time I met Dave and I saw how much he gives his heart and soul to this team, to these kids. He is one of the reasons I come back year after year.

Question of the Week (1/28/08): Which one person in FIRST has inspired you the most?

Andy Baker.

'Nuff said.

I would definitely have to say Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi, Ledge has got to be one of the most influential and dedicated teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet/work with. He managed to coordinate our whole team through 3 regionals, championships, a NURC (National Underwater Robotics Competition) competition, and an FLL competition (which we also hosted) in '07 alone. I’m sure I’m missing events in there, but those were the major ones. To be able to do that and still manage a life with his family at home is beyond me. I’m only 18 but I doubt I’d ever have the energy to keep up with him. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would normally add our two mentors, Jerry Little and Karen Suhm too, but since I had to pick one, I picked the one that is a teacher at the school.

Our mentor Candiloro is the most inspiring person. He is one in a million

I’ll post my answer now that a few people have joined in. The person who has inspired me the most was my high school FIRST teacher, Mr. Warren Hildebrandt. Better known as “H” to all his students, he was the one who made the FEDS who we were. He wasn’t just our teacher, he was our lead engineer, machinist, and our inspiration. Without him, we would have been nothing. At the beginning of every build season, he and I would stand in front of the chalkboard for an hour after everybody else had gone home, discussing our designs, making changes, and coming up with new ideas. It was design sessions like those that made me want to become an engineer. I owe my FIRST experience to my first FIRST mentor, H.