Austin is a junior in high school and is currently on FIRST Tech Challenge Team 11619, Rust in Pieces. Although his team hasn't formally competed in a tournament yet, they have built a robot and completed all of the challenges on their practice field. Their goal for 2018/2019 is to compete and make their way to Nationals.
This year is Austin's first year volunteering with FIRST LEGO League here at the 2018 Regional Competition. And although he originally signed up to help fulfill his requirement for volunteer hours, he quickly realized how important his role has been. Along side this teacher, who is also the robotics coach from his high school, Austin has been helping to set up the fields and pit area. He signed up for two days of volunteering but when he saw that there was still a lot of help needed and how dedicated his coach was to this effort, Austin cancelled his plans and came back to help for a 3rd day.
FIRST has inspired Austin to incorporate his passion for art with all that he is learning in technology and robotics. He feels that the world is full of problems that end up getting glorified instead of solved. From his point of view, he acknowledges that technology is the future but he also can see that art and history is what has gotten us here. This is something that we at PLuGHiTz also feel quite strongly about. We feel that STEM is nothing without Art and therefore should remain STEAM. It is so refreshing to come across a teenager who is learning this concept organically on his own, as he goes through his classes and hobbies. Austin in another example of how we should never underestimate these kids.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.
Although Michele has worked in the banking industry full time for many years, she originally went to school with a concentration in communications, advertising and marketing. She began her career in sales and retail management, selling electronics and computers. Her love of all things tech eventually brought her back into the electronics arena three years ago when she started with PLuGHiTz Corporation to help with special events as a Production Assistant. Soon she began to dabble with the audio and video and is loving her role as Producer. She's also one of our content writers and assists with product reviews. Looking forward, she is excited to expand her skill set into editing and helping the company continue to grow.