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Jacob Barnes of Orcutt, California, is the winner of the 2018 NFPA Robotics Challenge Scholarship, which awards him $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) for his participation in his high school’s FIRST Robotics team, the 3512 Spartatroniks. As a four-year member of the team, where he was on the electrical sub-team and the Electrical Lead during his senior year, he saw the Spartatroniks to qualify for 3 of 4 FIRST World Championships.
The NFPA judges who interviewed Jacob were impressed by his knowledge of pneumatics, his initiative, and his plan to mentor FIRST Robotics teams. Barnes shared his thoughts on receiving the prestigious scholarship:
FIRST provided me with a tremendous amount of real-world, job-like experience.
I will be pursuing a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering at my dream school, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, taking advantage of their 4 + 1 masters program and their “learn by doing” philosophy. This scholarship will help tremendously, allowing me to focus more on my studies instead of having to worry about finances.
I am very thankful for the opportunity given to me by the NFPA, and I am looking forward to being a part of the bright future of the fluid power industry.