Guiding the next generation

Aysen Malone, a freshman engineering student, mentors a member of one of Rolla High School's FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams.

Aysen Malone, a freshman engineering student, mentors a member of one of Rolla High School’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Freshman engineering student and Rolla High School alumna Aysen Malone knows that a strong mentor can leave a lasting impression on a person. Inspired by her first mentor, she returns to Rolla High School twice a week to help support its robotics teams.

The teams compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a nationwide robotics competition involving teams of up to 10 students between the ages of 14 and 18 in grades 9-12. Each team designs, builds and programs a robot for a tournament-style competition.

Malone is a three-year veteran of the robotics competition, having joined her sophomore year at Rolla High School.

During Malone’s first year, the Rolla team won the Inspire Award, given to the team that the judges feel embodies the “challenge” of FTC to involve young minds. That award qualified the team for the FTC world championships. Once Malone experienced the fierce competition at a worldwide level, she was hooked on improving the team’s robot.

But she wasn’t always as enthusiastic about the group. Malone credits one of the team’s advisors with getting her fully involved in the competition.

“When I first joined the team, I was shy and kind of intimidated by talking with the other members,” recalls Malone. “But then Philip Allen, one of the team’s mentors, walked up to me and asked me all about what I was interested in and helped introduce me to the team. He was a close friend to everyone on the team and was always willing to go the extra mile to help the students. He is also the main reason I chose to go to Missouri S&T.”

 

During Malone’s first semester at S&T, Allen, a 1994 mechanical engineering graduate of S&T, died in an automobile accident on Oct. 10, 2014. The shock of losing a beloved mentor to the team was difficult for everyone, including Malone.

In Allen’s memory, she continues his legacy of mentoring young minds interested in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Despite her busy schedule at S&T, where she has a job and is president of the Turkish Student Alliance, Malone insists on visiting the teams as often as she can.

“All the Rolla High School robotics teams like competition,” says Malone. “There isn’t a huge rivalry between the three, but everyone wants to be the best they can be. There is a legacy to continue, but all the teams know they have to earn their way with results.”

She also says she respects all the mentors and advisors who help the teams.

“All of the volunteers work so hard and freely give up their time to help the students, no matter if they have other obligations,” she says. “I will always be grateful for the footsteps that Phil left for me to follow.”

All three Rolla High School teams have qualified for the state championships, which will be held at the Gale Bullman Building on campus Saturday, March 7.

More about the upcoming competition can be found here.

By Peter Ehrhard

CACAARR celebrates 30th anniversary

2015_CACAARR_discover

Earlier this month, we sat down with Shenethia Manuel, vice chancellor of human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri S&T, to talk about the growth, success and future of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment … [Continue reading]

Alumni couple says you’re ‘mine’

S&T alumni Genevieve (DuBois) Bodnar and Greg Sutton exchange vows in the Experimental Mine on Dec. 20, 2014.

Hard hats? Check. Overalls? Check. Steel-toed boots? Check. Marriage license? Checkmate. In an unusual twist on the fairy tale wedding, Missouri S&T alumni Genevieve (DuBois) Bodnar and Greg Sutton were married underground at S&T’s … [Continue reading]

Alpha Phi Alpha at S&T turns 50

Happy Phriday

Chartered in 1965 at the height of the civil rights movement, Missouri S&T’s oldest African-American fraternity encountered obstacles on the way to its 50th anniversary, especially in the early years. “There were some difficulties in getting … [Continue reading]

Taking the Earth’s temperature

Since installing 144 geothermal wells on campus over the past two years, Dr. Curt Elmore, professor of geological engineering, has led a couple of ongoing geothermal research projects.

On the surface, it looks like nothing more than a turf-covered soccer field. But the ground beneath Missouri University of Science and Technology’s intramural field houses a complex system of 144 wells, each one 400 feet deep, that supply the … [Continue reading]

Improving rural drinking water

Danielle West

Disinfectants used in water treatment operations could generate harmful byproducts that are unregulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But Danielle West, a Ph.D. student in chemistry, is screening Missouri drinking water for … [Continue reading]

Meeting a 20/20 challenge

Sandy Simmons-Gamble

When Milton L. Simmons, 1949 ceramic engineering graduate, died in 2005, his daughter knew she wanted to do something special to honor his memory. “My father loved this university,” says Sandy Simmons-Gamble, fiscal assistant in the international … [Continue reading]

Persistence pays off

Nuclear engineering senior Dylan Prévost was awarded the Pursuit of Life Scholarship from Team Orion.

Dylan Prévost, a senior in nuclear engineering from Wickenburg, Arizona, learned who he really is by overcoming adversity. His decision to attend Missouri S&T was a huge leap of faith in himself and his family. Prévost’s father was diagnosed … [Continue reading]

A study in service

Alyssa Luczak

Although they come from different places and backgrounds, the first students to minor in humanitarian engineering and science at S&T have at least one thing in common – a desire to change the world for the better. Founded in fall 2014, the HES … [Continue reading]

Keenan Johnson, SpaceX man

Keenan Johnson

As a freshman, Keenan Johnson conducted experiments in near-zero gravity aboard NASA's "weightless wonder" aircraft as part of Missouri S&T's Miners In Space Team. Soon, he will be writing computer software that will send other vessels into … [Continue reading]

%d bloggers like this: