During high school, I competed on a VEX Robotics team. During this time, I had many opportunities because I was part of this community. For example, my high school robotics coach also worked for NASA, which led to two field trips to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and an opportunity to talk with an astronaut on the International Space Station.
While my team was competing at various tournaments in Minnesota, I met Aaron Barker, who is one of the people responsible for bringing VEX Robotics to Minnesota. Aaron suggested the St. Cloud Technical and Community College's (SCTCC) energy and electronics program. This conversation helped make my decision to attend this college where I obtained an associate degree in robotics and automation technology.
During my first semester of college, I decided to add both a second and third degree to my coursework including mechatronics, instrumentation, and process control. Soon after, I joined the college’s VEX U team and became an assistant coach for my former high school’s VEX Robotics team. I began volunteering at local tournaments and had a passion for being a Judge.
After graduating from college, I worked in the manufacturing industry. I continued to volunteer at events and learned that Aaron Barker would be taking an Interim Dean position at my college which meant he would step back from VEX Robotics. Fortunately, I applied for a VEX Robotics Coordinator position at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and was offered the position.
I currently work at SCTCC as the VEX Robotics Coordinator where I help plan, organize, and manage the Minnesota State VEX Robotics Championship and participate in outreach events to increase the awareness of VEX Robotics in my community. When I joined my high school’s VEX Robotics team, I never imagined that I would have this position. Being a part of VEX Robotics can lead to many different opportunities in life.
–Katie Frank, VEX Robotics Coordinator