So I found this on Facebook today and I just got really emotional, as all good FIRST stories tend to do.
Herman is from Fort McMurray, an Albertan city eight hours North of Calgary.
Like most of us, Herman wanted to build robots.
Unlike most of us, he the only student on FRC Team 4625, the Trappers.
You see, Herman is a rookie. He started the team along with a teacher from Father Mercredi High School and three other students. Like most of us felt in our rookie year, build season was challenging. Unfortunately, the other three students quit.
But this isn’t a pity story for Herman, but one of inspiration. He is the one-person team that could.
At fifteen years old Herman walked into the Western Canadian FRC Regional, Thursday, April 4, his family shortly behind him. It was just him and his robot, as his teacher showing up later in the day. With courage, he sat in his pit and got to work.
Soon, the rest of the regional heard of this one-person rookie team. They were curious, so they checked it out and talked to Herman. When SWAT (FRC Team 771) and the Robodawgs (FRC Teams 216, 244, 288) found out his robot wasn’t functioning, they got to work. With help from both veteran and rookie teams alike, Herman had a functioning, inspected robot by the time the pits closed Thursday. The regional administration had also given him special permission to have people from other teams be a part of his drive team. He will also have a handmade banner for his pit and scouting help, incase he happens to be in a picking position.
And as you watched the regional pull together for this one-person team, you can’t help but feel inspired. When you meet Herman, he has nothing but the biggest smile on his face. He is the embodiment of FIRST itself – determination, courage and a malleability that is common to a lot of rookie teams.
FIRST is about taking a big idea and making it happen. Within Team 1305, it was taking the feel of competition home with us for North Bay to experience – and winding up with a celebration of science and technology that includes all levels of FIRST Robotics Canada, reaches 3000 people annually and has helped create rookie teams. For Simbotics, it was the creation of an app that was downloaded over 1500 times in 65 different counties. For rookie teams, it is often just getting a robot that can compete.
Some ideas are easily successful and some are more challenging, but the great part about FIRST is that the FIRST Community is always there to support you. Today was just one example of how FIRST is a family, and families stick through things – thick or thin. Thank you Herman, for inspiring and reminding us what FIRST is all about.
- Emily Haws
FRC Team 1305
He did win the Judge’s Award that day.