Class of 2018 - Ava

Updated: May 11, 2018

We had a number of outstanding students graduate from our team after the 2018 Power Up season. We’d like to tell you a bit about them to give you an idea of what can happen over the course of a few years. Here's about Ava.


Ava joined the team in spring of 2013 as a 7th grader. By the time she graduated from the team in 2018, she had been on the team longer than any other student. We’d like to share a bit of her story.

As an 8th grader, Ava learned what programming skills she could, occasionally with the help of older students on the team.

She also learned about the various tools and equipment which the team had to manufacture robot parts. She not only learned out to use the manufacturing tools, she also learned Computer Aided Design. She was responsible for coordinating the designs of the various sub-teams for the 2017 Steamworks competition robot.

In 2016, she led the effort to rebrand our team to its current “Roaring Robotics” namesake. She also helped in the development of the website to launch our new team name.

She shared her knowledge with younger students on the ways of the robot.

At the 2017 Central Illinois Regional, she became one of two FIRST Dean’s List Finalists competition. As a result, she was able to go forward to the national competition held in St. Louis that year.

As the team safety captain from 2015 through 2018, she was usually in the pit during competitions. As such, she was often one of the students sharing their knowledge of the team. In 2016, the team earned the Underwriter Laboratories Industrial Safety Award in large part due to her efforts as the team safety captain.


Outside of Robotics, Ava’s life was not quite as interesting, though.

  • She only managed to maintain a 4.375 GPA in school while taking several advanced placement courses...

  • ... while belonging to six honor societies.

  • She was active on Mathletes throughout high school.

  • She was active on the Scholastic Bowl team for three years.

Her father offered the following observations...

“You know your child is interested in engineering when you discover them working through the wee hours of the night on robot CAD designs for the team. Of Ava’s various high school activities, robotics is the one which she put her heart into the most. In addition to honing her interest in engineering and technical subjects in general, she learned perseverance, and developed her confidence. Her experience on the team provided her an edge when it came to applying to colleges and jobs.”

Here are some thoughts from Ava:

“I knew early that I wanted to be an engineer, but it wasn't until I joined robotics that I understood what that meant and which field I wished to pursue. Even though I had little technical knowledge, I was included in designing and building the robot my first year. It was this hands on involvement that helped me learn. On the team, I have had the opportunity to pursue a range of interests from CAD work to rebranding. This has been a unique experience to be able to find and then shape a program that I’m passionate about.”

Ava will be attending Notre Dame in the fall of 2018. She plans on majoring in electrical engineering and physics in preparation for future studies in optical engineering. Her team voted her most the likely to win the Nobel prize two years in a row. Of course, the team also identified her safety captain “death stare” as one of her more memorable attributes.

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