Name: Sydney “Squid” Kitchen
Interests: Art, writing, science
Main Role in Team: Media & Outreach
1. How long have you done robotics?
This is my second year doing FTC, though I have done FLL for two years before that, so I do have plenty of experience with the robots.
2. What got you interested in robotics in the first place?
It seemed like an interesting program when I joined FLL. I’d see the kids who did it messing around the board and thought it looked interesting, so I joined the next season. And it just carried over once I reached High School, so I joined FTC.
3. What do you like about it?
The team is really cohesive, everyone has a role and can be themselves and do what they want in the team, but you are free to try new things if what you’re doing becomes less important or you finish your task. It’s a lot of fun, and the challenges are always interesting, and the competitions are fun to see the robots the other teams have come up with, and how everyone interacts at the competitions.
4. So far, do you want to do it again?
Definitely. I’ll definitely be doing this again next year, and probably the year after.
5. What do you think of the challenge this year?
It’s hard. A lot harder than the challenge last year. It has a lot of different tasks that can be done, and none of them are particularly simple. Not that previous years have been staring you in the face when you go and try to find the solution, but this one is particularly difficult, as it all piles onto another challenge that’s harder. To do the zipline, you have to go up the ramp, same if you want to score some debris.
6. What is one major goal for this year you want to achieve?
I would like to be more active this year than last year on the team and have more of an impact, contribute more ideas, and generally be more involved.
7. How do you think this relates to real situations Search and Rescue, Fire & EMS, etc. has to face?
The challenge mimics them. They also have to deal with debris in their way, often times have to get over large walls, and generally face the same challenges. But beyond the obvious similarities in actions, they also have to be creative and problem solve to overcome the challenges in their way, and persevere through challenges and obstacles.
8. Do you have any personal connections to any of these organizations?
Nothing on an extremely personal level, but I do know a lot of people who work with Search and Rescue, or a similar organization, though there’s no direct family ties.
9. To you, what is Gracious Professionalism?
It’s not boasting when you get first in a competition, helping other teams when they need it, and generally being polite and kind. But it’s also competing and not giving any ground, but not being overly brutal. It’s generally knowing when enough’s enough and when to help others.