Right after the FIRST Championship my senior year in high school, I was awarded with a full tuition FIRST scholarship to Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. After managing to convince my parents, I made the decision to travel nearly 10,000 miles and go to college, and have never looked back.
Macquarie University has since sent me around the world to start FIRST teams, including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and my favorite, India. During the two weeks I was there, we visited 6 schools across the country, traveling from New Delhi, to Calcutta, then to Hyderabad, and lastly to Mumbai. At the schools, the kids worked in groups to build simple FIRST Tech Challenge style robots out of Matrix, and competed in challenges at the end of the day. Watching the kids’ eyes light up when the robot started driving had to be my favorite part, seeing their creation come to life. Then, we got to show off the FIRST Robotics Competition, with a 2013 robot that played in Ultimate Ascent. The kids had fun throwing frisbees to their friends using a robot, and seeing the power of a two-speed gearbox.
I could have never imagined that the decision to take the scholarship and go to Macquarie University would have led to all of this, with even more to come.
- Evan Hollins
Learn more about the Macquarie University FIRST Scholarships