Paul Roush, Bellarmine Prep class of 1994, is an engineer on Team 360 and has been an integral part of the team since it started, five years ago. Paul has provided the team with an incredible amount of dedication and enthusiasm. His knowledge of engineering stems from his extensive training as a Professional Engineer. His dedication to FIRST and the community comes from his Bellarmine and college education.
Not only is Paul an engineering mentor to the team, he is an invaluable teacher for the students who make up the team. The Socratic Method, knowledge through questioning, allows us to not only understand what we are doing, but why. To accomplish this, Paul understands that some people learn by doing, others by listening; and some through effectively combining both methods. In a very non-intrusive way he shows us potential mistakes we may make, before they are made, and how we can fix them. A notable example of this is in teaching students how to take the tabs off the drill transmissions. Working in tandem, Paul will instruct the student how to remove the tabs while doing it himself. To ensure comprehension, Paul will sometimes undo what he has done, and tell the student to do it, watching carefully for mistakes with gentle corrections.
Another thing you notice about Paul is his quiet patience and sense of humor. This allows him to become close to a very demanding group of highschoolers. Not a single person on the team can ever remember hearing Paul lose his temper. At competition his patience extends so far as to allow the team’s spirit corps to put his hair in little pigtails.
There are a lot of small things around the work area that Paul does that many people do not realize the significance of. He always has a box of his own tools, nice tools, which he brings from his workplace. He allows us and instructs us how to use them in a safe and smart manner. Even Paul’s title is significant because he doesn’t insist on the moniker of Mr. Roush, we maintain a level of respect without needing to differentiate ourselves to that extent.
Paul’s efforts for the team do not solely remain in the world of engineering, however. You will find him everywhere the team needs help. For example, he shows us how to create our team signs with help from his own sign company which has donated very generously to the team because of his involvement. His help in the community goes far beyond Team 360. Paul is an active member of WETOC (Washington Engineering & Technology Outreach Committee), the FIRST Pacific Northwest planning organization which helps start new teams and keeps veteran teams running smoothly.
Paul Roush is an example of someone in a career that many of us at Team 360 are considering going into; he becomes our model of an engineer. Frequently talking about his work and current project and problems, we see applications of how things we learn in robotics can be applied in real life. Working with Paul gives our team a view of what engineering is in the professional world. Being an engineer is more than just sitting in a nice warm office crunching numbers; it is getting grease under your fingernails and putting your sweat and blood into bringing something to life. It is about embodying a project and bringing it to successful conclusion. Paul demonstrates this principle daily.