By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – Teams of students from all over Colorado competed in an international robotics competition this weekend in The University of Denver’s Magness Arena.
DU has been hosting For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology for 15 years.
“I love FIRST, it’s amazing,” said Julia Gray, the Chief Engineer for Team Komodo.
“It’s a lot of fun, I get to learn a lot and meet new people, see a bunch of crazy ideas and really learn a lot about other people and about myself and engineering,” she said.
Part of that self discovery has been a shift.
“Before I found out about FIRST, I was all about ballet and ballet is all I wanted to do. So then I visited the Colorado Regional and saw the competition and was intrigued so then joined a team,” she said.
For Nela Mohan, engineering has always been in her blood.
“When I was little, my dad would take me to work with him and to keep me occupied he would give me computers and tell me to take them apart and put them back together,” said Nela who serves as Chairman’s Captain of The Highlanders.
Currently she is a senior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. Her next stop is Johns Hopkins University and a possible STEM career.
“I am going into Engineering, I’m going into biomedical engineering, with a mechanical focus; so, I’m taking the mechanical engineering I’m learning here and adding that with my love of biology,” she said.
Bright futures for the taking: some assembly required.
“If you’re considering it, just jump right in, don’t be afraid, it’s a lot of fun. The worst thing that happens is you learn a lot and break a robot,” said Gray.
Winners of the competition will compete in the World Championships in Houston in April.