My Participation in the Prince of Wales Robotics Team



My Participation in the Prince of Wales Robotics Team


TOPIC 2. An experience or achievement that has had significant meaning in your
life ( You may discuss an obstacle that you have overcome )

The intellectual achievement that I feel is my most prominent academic
experience is participating, for the second consecutive year, in the Prince of
Wales Robotics Team. This was an opportunity to gain valuble insights into
designing and manufacturing electrical robots with fellow teammates and
professional engineers.
Firstly, in connection with my involvement in the Robotics Team, I was
able to learn the systematic ways of applying textbook material to realistic
problem solving. This was my greatest challenge. As a member of a core group, we
were able to devise a functional remote-controlled robot designed to achieve a
specific task under the constraints of time. As a consequence of team effort and
ingenuity, we ranked first in our province of British Columbia at the 1996
National Championships. Another aspect of my participation with this high school
club in problem solving was to acquire the neccessary funds in the construction
materials, competition fees as well as for personal expenses required for
traveling outside the province for competitions. Fund-raising was both stressful
and difficult due to the fact that corporate sponsors had limited resources and
could not finance to the extent that had been previously predicted. As time
progressed, the situation worsened simply because the district school board
received financial cuts due to the reduced provincial budget. The problem of
convincing sponsors outside of the norm became a task in itself. With this type
of experience, I am sure that I can organize a better fund-raising scheme as an
active member in future groups.
However, without any doubt to have a successful fund-raising campaign,
promotion is definitely necessary. The main reason for this is that if the
knowledge of about the team was other than "we need financial sponsors", then
they could have been more comfortable and probably even willingful to donate
larger sums of money simply because they "could see" and trust where the money
was being spent. Hence, how to get people familiar about our Robotics Team
became critical. For instance, during last year\'s promotion scheme, I performed
the usual marketing mix with our team. Such a mix consisted of distributing
invitations for a Robotics Cocktail Party, sending out business letters to
target corporations and finallly, voicing the team\'s bulletin in the school
announcements. I believe the promotion of the team was not intensified
throughout the school year because it did not leave a lasting impression, or
sufficient information about the Robotics Competition itself to potential
sponsors and students. Therefore, the image of the "Prince of Wales Robotics
Team" could still not escape the stigma of "a team that does nothing but needs
money". This could explain why it became extremely difficult when we actually
tried to obtain financial aid from our sponsors. Such a precious experience is
essential and recommended for any student who loves engineering because in the
real and cut-throat business world, most engineering projects require business
finances in order to be successfully achieved.
In conclusion, my participation in the Prince of Wales Robotics Team
helped me to gain valuble insights into designing and manufacturing electrical
robots with fellow teammates and professional engineers. In addition, I gained
some precious intellectural and business experience which I never encountered
before.