Austin is a junior in high school and is currently on FIRST Tech Challenge Team 11619, Rust in Pieces. Although his team hasn't formally competed in a tournament yet, they have built a robot and completed all of the challenges on their practice field. Their goal for 2018/2019 is to compete and make their way to Nationals.
This year is Austin's first year volunteering with FIRST LEGO League here at the 2018 Regional Competition. And although he originally signed up to help fulfill his requirement for volunteer hours, he quickly realized how important his role has been. Along side this teacher, who is also the robotics coach from his high school, Austin has been helping to set up the fields and pit area. He signed up for two days of volunteering but when he saw that there was still a lot of help needed and how dedicated his coach was to this effort, Austin cancelled his plans and came back to help for a 3rd day.
FIRST has inspired Austin to incorporate his passion for art with all that he is learning in technology and robotics. He feels that the world is full of problems that end up getting glorified instead of solved. From his point of view, he acknowledges that technology is the future but he also can see that art and history is what has gotten us here. This is something that we at PLuGHiTz also feel quite strongly about. We feel that STEM is nothing without Art and therefore should remain STEAM. It is so refreshing to come across a teenager who is learning this concept organically on his own, as he goes through his classes and hobbies. Austin in another example of how we should never underestimate these kids.
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