Teacher and Robotics Team Coach, Cimmaron Memorial High School
There are robotics teams throughout the country that are sponsored by General Motors or NASA. Relative to some of those big teams, we’re a low-budget team. But the kids understand that we hustle for what we get.
During my first year of teaching, there was some seed money available to start a robotics team in Las Vegas. I was talking to a group of students and threw the idea out there. One of them grabbed me and said, “We have to do this. This is great. We’re going to build a robot!”
We started with seven kids in a small classroom back in 2002. And it just snowballed from there. We now have a world championship robotics team. There were 80 kids at our first meeting this year. Everybody knows about us. And you wouldn’t believe that we’re a regular, local community high school. I think it gives everyone a sense of pride that Cimmaron Memorial High School is the epicenter of robotics in Las Vegas. We’ve had our kids graduate and go off to the top schools in the country. We’re out-performing teams sponsored by NASA and General Motors. It’s pretty incredible.
The kids understand that we hustle for what we get. It creates such a sense of camaraderie. We sometimes spend 10 hours a day together in the shop in competition season – even more on weekends. Everyone’s on equal footing here and we really feel like a family.