“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”
Nate Troup gives the students of Team 111 these opportunities, and makes them fun by incorporating humor and equality into education. This may be summed up best in the words of those students who has been touched by Nate’s benevolence: “He is always friendly and approachable. He seems to have the same enthusiasm as the students and the expertise of a Motorolan,” graduate Mike McMinn stated, “He speaks to us as equals.” During his eight years as a mentor on the electrical subteam, Nate has inspired the members of his team to work hard, have fun, and learn skills that will be useful throughout their future. Before the build season even begins, Nate ensures that all members of the electrical subteam are capable of wiring the robot without any assistance. This gives students the confidence necessary to carry through everything they do.
Nate has a knack for making any time more interesting. As an incentive to work harder, Nate promised students they could shave his head if they won the Championship, which they have done twice. Driver Jake Wachlin remembers how Nate, at various competitions, would tell stories to make down time more fun. At our WildStang build location at Motorola, access to refreshments is unavailable. Nate personally purchased a broken vending machine and turned it into a restoration project for students, therefore providing members with beverages and experience.
Nate’s method of instruction has worked. “He has inspired me to pursue an engineering degree in electrical systems,” Erik Edhlund conveys with thanks. Nate has helped in creating the kind of world that Dean Kamen dreams of. This is a world “where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes.” Through explanations and instructions that even the most novice student can understand, Nate has given his students the foundation and motivation to become those heroes. As Albert Einstein stated, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Nate gives the students the experience, knowledge, and stimulus to become innovators, engineers, and inventors.
Nate has not only taught many members of Team 111 how to wire a robot, but he has also taught them life lessons. “He has been a constant guiding hand…He reminds us that FIRST is a learning experience, not just a competition,” remarks Mike McMinn. FIRST is not just a competition. That statement may be the most important one that Nate teaches. FIRST is about technology, helping others, and having fun. “He has always been willing to assist any team that asked for help,” says another student. Nate is a role model to all by helping others in need. Even when he is very busy in his own pit, he is always able to lend a hand towards other teams. Students become inspired to help others as he does. FIRST is not just a competition; FIRST is the crossroads of servitude and scholarship. Nate is part of making this utopia a reality.
The Woodie Flowers Award recognizes mentors who lead, inspire, and empower using excellent communication skills. Students of Team 111 believe no one deserves this honor more than Nate Troup. He has inspired students to careers in engineering, encouraged
students to work hard and succeed, and empowered students by teaching them useful concepts in a friendly, humorous way that everyone appreciates. We wish that Nate Troup will be bestowed the honor he deserves.