Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Hudson Jantzi, and I am a Grade 11 student at Elmira District Secondary School, where I’m the First Robotics Competition (FRC) 4917 Senior Team Leader. I attended Shad at the University of British Columbia in July 2023. I have always enjoyed STEAM but have really found my passion in invention, innovation and robotics.

Q: How did you get involved with FIRST Robotics?

I got involved with FIRST robotics when some friends and I started a FIRST Lego League community team in 2017 when I was in Grade 6. From there, I fell in love with FIRST and the friendly competition it offered while expanding my understanding of robotics, software, teamwork and love of STEAM. When I began Grade 9, I joined my high school’s First Robotics Competition team (4917), and I progressed from rookie to senior team leader and robot driver.

Q: What interests you about robotics?

For me, the most interesting part about robotics is how you can use technology and engineering to solve advanced problems. Robotics is used in many applications and has changed the world with its capability and versatility. I find it incredible that I can learn to put this technology into practice to solve problems and make the world a better place. I love brainstorming on how to solve a problem and then make it a reality.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from your Shad experience?

My biggest takeaway from my Shad experience was that I can learn to do almost anything with enough desire and dedication. Shad really reinforced that I am capable and able to achieve anything if I am willing to learn and push myself beyond my perceived limits. Thanks to Shad, I have had the opportunity to explore new passions and expand the bounds of what I thought I was capable of. Shad also provided me with the opportunity to explore many potential career avenues.

Q: At Shad we are leaders in social innovation, how do you plan to use #STEAM4Good?

As a leader in social innovation, I plan to use #STEAM4Good by designing and inventing technology to help improve our lives; utilizing technology to improve our productivity, wellbeing, balance and finding new ways that we never thought possible to improve our social, health and environmental impact.

Q: What lessons would you share with incoming Shads?

One lesson I would share with future Shads is to step outside of your comfort zone. At Shad you will have opportunities to do things you never thought you could, but only if you are willing to be vulnerable, make mistakes and learn. As well as this, don’t be shy and instead get to know people. The better you know your fellow Shads, the more you will be able to do together, learn and have fun. So, be willing to get to know each other and create your very own Shad community who will push you to grow beyond your expectations, and as a bonus, create lifelong friends.

I was surprised by the deep friendships we quickly made at Shad, as well as the well roundedness of everyone. We would go from a particle accelerator lab, to learning to optimize our mental performance using our sleep cycles, to smart future city planning, to jamming as a band in the evening. Shad is an incredible experience and life-changing opportunity I recommend to everyone.

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