Name of the team(s) you are currently involved with, name of school and location: Currently, I am working with CAOS Robotics Team 14338 in our second year with an amazing group of students and wonderful parents. We are located in downtown Escondido at Classical Academy High Online.
Tell us a little bit about your history with FIRST and what you currently do with the FTC program in the San Diego region: Seven years ago, I was told that I would be teaching computer science at the Classical Academy Cyber Café. This precipitated recruitment into the high school’s FRC team which I mentored for 6 years. At the end of that 6th year, three sophomore girls wanted to improve their value to the team by doing summer development. That resulted in founding the FTC team because the girls were attending classes at the Online Center (Classical Academy Online) to which they added Students and became CAOS. With a lot of outreach and recruiting, the team grew in its rookie year to 12 students and with outstanding parental support, CAOS was able to host a league tournament. Since I enjoy learning about the details of any competition, I studied the Rover Ruckus Game Manuals and volunteered to be a referee during week one, week two, week three, and week 4. It was a lot of fun and I encourage everyone to volunteer into a position you would find rewarding! (Not for the fashions!)
What do you most enjoy about your involvement with FTC: I most enjoy working with the students. When we first started, they were mostly novices with any tool so our mentors worked with each student until the students learned bolts, nuts, servos, wheels, motors, gears, x-rail, beams, channel (both large and mini), righty-tighty, lefty-loosy, as well as CAD using TinkerCAD, 3D printing with our physics teacher’s Raise3D N2 printer, and varying degrees of programming.
When you’re not doing FTC, what do you do for a living: Outside of FTC, I teach at Classical Academy High Online. This year I have four sections of Math III, one section of Introduction to Robotics, Python Programming at five levels, and AP Computer Science, Java. I apply for every possible grant, routinely write Donors Choose projects, and seek to become principal at a new Career Technical Education location for The Classical Academies.
Tell us an interesting factoid about yourself that people might be surprised to learn: My favorite place to be is under the sea; I have been an avid SCUBA diver since I was 17. I enjoy documenting dives with my SeaLife camera.
Name of the team(s) you are currently involved with, name of school and location:
I do not have any association with any teams or schools. It keeps me unbiased in making referee calls.
Tell us a little bit about your history with FIRST and what you currently do with the FTC program in the San Diego region:
My history with FIRST has always been with refereeing. I started around 4 years ago and quickly worked my way up as regional head referee. My job is to recruit and train head referees for all the events, answer any rules related questions that get escalated to me, and referee for events like the San Diego Regional Championship.
What do you most enjoy about your involvement with FTC:
My favorite part of refereeing is seeing the kids succeed in accomplishing something with their robots for the first time. Whether it’s getting their robots to score something in autonomous that they never did before, or to hang for the first time, that look of joy that they get is priceless.
When you’re not doing FTC, what do you do for a living:
I am a Senior Software Engineer at Printivity, an online printing company. I work on the company’s website and internal software tools.
Tell us an interesting factoid about yourself that people might be surprised to learn:
I own and run a non-profit organization called Active Lifestyle Nerds (ALN) that has over 7000 members. ALN’s goal is to build and grow the adult nerd community in San Diego.