Personal Profiles – Alexander G., Sally J., Tyler S., and Samantha S.

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Alexander

Hi! My name is Alexander. I am a Grade 12 student in Calgary, Alberta and a member of FRC 4421. This is my fifth year in FIRST and it has been my favourite extracurricular activity. I am a member of the programming and electrical subteams, and our team’s lead programmer, and a part of the drive team. I have also enjoyed working to run our team’s first-ever hackathon in May 2020 to focus on the issues of the pandemic that youth were just starting to grapple with, and to promote STEM across Canada. Last year I had the honour of being accepted onto the FIRST Canada Youth Council, and since then I have enjoyed working on many impactful initiatives such as Rookie Support, FIRSTCanadaLive! and DiversityFIRST

Outside of FIRST, I run a non-profit organization that aims to help provide more STEM opportunities to junior high school and high school students, and underserved communities. I have run several hackathons to provide fun ways for students to participate in STEM, and I have run several workshops this summer to provide workshops in coding and robotics for underserved communities such as Indigenous groups. In my free time, I like to code, read, and spend time with friends and family. 

What’re you looking forward to most this season? (Other than in-person events!)

I am looking forward to being able to meet in-person with my teammates at the buildspace, and being able to work together on the robot.

If you could live in any fictional universe which one would it be?

As a Star Wars fan, I would live in the Star Wars universe (original trilogy). My favourite character would have to be either Han Solo or Darth Vader.

If you could see any musician in history perform live who would it be?

Freddie Mercury! He was such an iconic singer for Queen, and I think seeing a Queen concert live would be so much fun!

If you could only keep one of your belongings, what would it be and why?

My dated, beat up and irritable Dell G3 laptop! I saved up enough money to buy it three years ago, and since then my laptop has faithfully served me as I worked and played, hanging out with friends late at night working on the code for my robotics team. I also have many photos of memories stored on my laptop as well.

Sally

Hi! My name is Sally. I am currently in Grade 11 and a member of FRC Team 7659, HNMCS Robotics! Having been a part of FIRST robotics for 4 years, FIRST has been a key part in my life. I remember the start of my journey in FIRST – walking into the FLL Team classroom in Grade 8 and seeing a box full of LEGO! I clearly remember the thrill and joy I felt when my mentor announced that I would be building a mini robot out of scratch. Since then, my involvement in FIRST has grown tremendously. This September, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the FIRST Canada Youth Council. Through the council, I have gotten to know so many inspiring peers and mentors, and got to be a part of many impactful initiatives such as #MentalHealthComesFIRST and FIRSTCanadaLIVE!. One of my favourite things about being on the council is the ability to uphold FIRST values (equity, diversity, and inclusion) through initiatives that directly impact all FIRST teams in Canada. My involvement in FIRST continues to motivate me to be an advocate for FIRST values both in and out of my team!

Outside of FIRST, I am a strong advocate for the environment. In 2019, I ran an independent project to raise awareness about climate change in my school. I created bracelets for donations, filmed a short documentary, and gave presentations to students. Continuing on this passion, I organized a shoreline cleanup in downtown Toronto with two of my friends. Other than that, I also have great interest in the health sciences. This summer, I wrote a research analysis paper about two cancer treatments: small molecule inhibitors and PROTACs. The paper is currently in the works of being published! In my free time, I love reading, watching movies, talking to my friends, and spending time with my family.

 

What’re you looking forward to most this season? (Other than in-person events!)

This season, I am most looking forward to all the in-person meetings with my team! It is always a great time during our weekly meetings as we make sure to have fun. 

If you could live in any fictional universe which one would it be?

As a Marvel fan, I would dream to live in the MCU! My favourite is either Thor or Wanda Maximoff. I would love to meet them in real life!

If you could see any musician in history perform live who would it be?

Michael Jackson. No-brainer. 

If you could only keep one of your belongings, what would it be and why?

My photo album! It reminds me of so many great memories I had with my friends and family, like the time I lost my first tooth or me opening my Christmas gift!

Tyler

Hello! My name is Tyler, and I’m a grade 12 student from Sudbury in northern Ontario. I am currently the programming lead for FRC 4069, Lo-Ellen Robotics. I have been a part of FIRST since the end of grade 9, after the culmination of the Deep Space FRC season. In grade 10 and 11 I participated in FTC, where last season I was a Dean’s List finalist! This year I mentor the four FTC teams at my school in software and controls, and am a new member of the Youth Council! In only my few months this year I have been able to take part in exciting initiatives including writing for the magazine you are reading. I also had the privilege of interviewing Jayson Myres, CEO of Canada’s Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster, alongside other members of the council. I have also been able to present on FIRSTCanadaLive! and at SWATPosium. My favourite part of being on the Youth Council has been the opportunity to connect with members of the FIRST community despite the pandemic.

Aside from robotics (and school of course), my primary activities include curling, work and Reach for the Top. I have curled with my school team as well as club teams, claiming a few Northern Ontario medals along the way. I am also passionate about music, and would like to pick up the guitar again over the winter break. My favourite genres are progressive and classic rock, with some of my favourite groups being Rush, Pink Floyd and AC/DC. I also love mountain biking, one of my favourite hobbies and ways to stay active in both the winter and summer.

What’re you looking forward to most this season? (Other than in-person events!)

This season, I’m looking forward to getting to meet new people from across Canada at competitions! I can’t wait for the FIRST community to be connected in person once again!

If you could live in any fictional universe which one would it be?

Like Alexander, I would also love to be a part of the Star Wars universe, though I would have to say I am a fan of the prequel universe, mainly due to the politics and unique civilizations present.

If you could see any musician in history perform live who would it be?

I think I would see Pink Floyd live! Their Live album “The Delicate Sound of Thunder” is one of my favourites, and some of their arrangements are so unique!

If you could only keep one of your belongings, what would it be and why?

If I was only able to keep one of my belongings I would probably select my notebook, where I keep all of my random ideas, robotics design or control ideas. It is usually my go-to when starting new projects and many proud moments of mine are documented.

Samantha

Hello! My name is Samantha. I am a grade 11 student on FRC 7558 ALT-F4. I have done robotics for six years and I have loved every minute of it! I started robotics when I was 11 and I spent 3 years in VEX IQ robotics on a two-person robotics team. When I was 11, my teammate and I created the 16 by 16 campaign. Which was a goFundMe dedicated to raising money to send 16 underserved girls to an amazing robotics camp called Bot Camp (which I attended when I was ten). Now, I am 16 and I am very happy to say that we did reach our goal and send 16 girls to robotics camp! I joined my school’s FRC team when I was in grade 8, so this is my fourth year in FRC. This year, I am on the mechanical and electrical subteams on 7558. In past years I was on the scouting and strategy subteam as well as mechanical and electrical. In grade 9, I was on the pit crew on my team. I love all parts of robotics, but my favourites are CADding and building! This is my team’s fourth year in FRC and we are extremely excited for competitions! 

In my free time, I really enjoy watching sitcoms, watching movies, and reading. I have seen so many sitcoms including Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Good Place, Modern Family, New Girl, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Ted Lasso, Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek and many more! My favourites being The Big Bang Theory and Ted Lasso. My favourite movie is The Martian and my favourite books are The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Starless Sea. I enjoy acting and I have acted in my school’s productions of Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Macbeth

What’re you looking forward to most this season? (Other than in-person events!)

I am really looking forward to being back in the lab and back building again! I can’t wait to start the new season and design the new robot. I am also super excited for kickoff and to find out about the new game! 

If you could live in any fictional universe which one would it be?

The Harry Potter universe! I absolutely love the magic in Harry Potter! I really want to cast spells and ride through the skies on a hippogriff! My friend is actually filming a Harry Potter video right now, and I play a Death Eater! 🙂

If you could see any musician in history perform live who would it be?

I love music, but personally I would rather watch a stand-up comedian perform live than a band or singer. My favourite comedian of all time is Danny Bhoy. He does this bit on a gecko that I find absolutely hilarious!

If you could only keep one of your belongings, what would it be and why?

I have this bowl where I have kept many bits of robotics memorabilia from years of competing in robotics. The bowl has many team buttons and wristbands, google safety goggles, and a shell necklace a team from Hawaii gave me. There are so many amazing memories attached to the objects in this bowl and I would really like to keep the bowl and everything inside.