We are honored to nominate Robert Dodge for the Woodie Flowers Award due to his dedication and passion for the students of Code Orange, Team 3476. His endless knowledge and advice inspire all of the students on the team.
Robert first discovered Code Orange through one of our leading sponsors, Applied Medical, a medical-tool engineering company. As an employee at Applied Medical, Robert was able to see the impact Code Orange had on students and decided he wanted to help high school students become excited about engineering and leadership skills.
Since he has joined Code Orange in 2016, Robert has worked hand-in-hand with students to teach important safety and engineering skills. As an engineer, Robert knows that the best way for students to learn is through interactive workshops, which is why he always encourages every student to participate in manufacturing. As one mentor put it, “He [Robert] explained concepts and procedures in a clear, thorough and accessible manner, and gave helpful examples.” Robert never does the students’ work and purposefully allows mistakes. This technique of letting us discover what doesn’t work on our own has allowed us to learn extremely valuable lessons, become more independent, and acquire significant life experience. His ultimate goal is not to win a competition, but rather to ensure that students are truly learning from their experiences while also having fun. That is the most important lesson we can learn as Code Orange team members.
Even with a full-time job, Robert manages to always find time for his students. He often sacrificed his late hours during weekdays so the students could finish their goals. One student said, “Bobby once stayed with me until 2:00 in the morning guiding me through learning how to use the lathe.” His incredible commitment to the team has allowed several opportunities for students to engage and interact using real-life engineering skills.
Robert isn’t just a mentor and engineer, he is also a friend. Every time he walks through the door there is an immediate uplifting of spirit among the students. Robert is a very light-hearted and witty person and often cracks jokes that make everyone crack up. The student Vice President says, “He would go farther than just teaching us about robotics. We would always talk about our lives and different things and I always enjoy hearing his funny stories about his time in high school. He was a constant reminder that it was more than just robots. It was about making connections and being able to work hard.
Recently, Robert moved to a new state to start a new chapter in his life. He still insists on calling the team and ensuring that everyone is working safely and efficiently. He truly is the epitome of what a great mentor is; he teaches valuable lessons through hard work while also making sure to have fun. His endless dedication, enthusiasm, and passion are why Code Orange is honored to nominate Robert Dodge for the Woodie Flowers award.