2022 Woodie Flowers Award Finalist – Niall O’Driscoll

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In this issue of the BEING FIRST Magazine, we want to spotlight the 2022 winner and finalists of the Woodie Flowers Award. Here is an interview we conducted with the 2022 Award Finalist Niall O’Driscoll from FRC team 7480 Machine Mavericks from Kingston, Ontario.

What are your preferred pronouns?

“He/him”

What initially made you interested in FIRST?

“At the suggestion of a friend, my wife and I started coaching FLL when our daughter was nine.  We all enjoyed it so much that nine years later we’re still doing it and still loving it!”

How long have you been a mentor on your team?

“I coached FLL for five years and am starting my fifth year of FRC.”

Why did you choose to mentor your team?

“I have a background in mechanical engineering, robotics, and software so it seemed like something I could help with.  It also seemed to capture the imagination of students in a way that few other STEM activities can.”

How do you continue to empower and inspire your students?

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of introducing ideas and approaches that I’ve learned over time and seeing how students build on and combine them.  It’s particularly rewarding when they can come up with something new and unexpected..”

What is your favourite part about your team + FIRST?

“We have a really talented and committed group of mentors and an eager bunch of students who are all great fun to work with.  We’ve been at this for almost five years and looking back at how much we’ve learned and grown makes me proud of everyone involved!”