East West

Scott Strickland strikes again! This year nobody will survive unaffected by one of the greatest mentor masterminds in all of ComBBAT history. Side effects of his influence include small burning sensations from intense engineering passion, anxiety attacks from successful designs, and possible strokes of scientific appreciation. Most who have come in contact with this man have never lived the same; his enthusiasm is incurably contagious.

Kickoff reinvigorates the team after a long off-season, but such is not the case when it comes to Scott. One would get the impression that he had never fully recuperated from the strong and ecstatic emotions of the previous year. Even before the unveiling of the game, ideas come flying out of a seemingly bottomless pit of enthusiasm. However, due to this year’s precautions, the team decided to limit the projectile conceptions to no greater than 26.8 mph.

In theory, design is the most important step to successfully completing a robot. ComBBAT, on the other hand, has created an alternative approach – “to build first and ask questions later.” Part of this philosophy, which has had surprisingly promising outcomes, can be attributed to Scott for placing such an emphasis on team involvement. Unlike most engineers, he does not issue a mandated design and expect the team to comply. Instead, he urges the team to get involved from day one by issuing a massive assault on prototyping. We bring him solutions and he helps us incorporate them onto the robot. As a result, issues arise that could have been avoided had Scott personally addressed them. He realizes that we are not “professionals” and must learn from our own mistakes. While it may seem counter-productive, the approach has greatly benefited the team in terms of expanding our problem solving skills.

ComBBAT’s diversity stems from the vast differences of its team members’ applicable experience. Everyone is an equal member, but not all members are equally experienced. Scott tries to bridge this gap by encouraging and directing team participation in the simplest terms, which often stem from common movie adages. “This is your mission, whether you choose to accept it…” Scott recognizes that not all ComBBAT operations are the most glorious of tasks and often require some humorous motivation.

Helping the team continue in the right direction, Scott’s eight years of “team experience” (or in other words “teen experience”) have allowed him to communicate effectively with the dominant age group. Besides always being “down with the team,” he finds a way to reduce the technically advanced engineering jargon often associated with his trade. “This is a sprocket… it allows the motor to turn the shaft, which powers the conveyer system.” His brilliance accompanied with his clear use of speech facilitates a smooth flow of ideas and directions throughout the ComBBAT domain.

Team 21’s number denotes its long-standing, eight year history with FIRST, of which Scott can proudly boast having been an outstanding mentor for the entire duration. From its inception, he has always been ComBBAT’s primary engineer and supporter, not to mention financial prospector. Boeing’s sponsorship has at times been on the rocks, but Scott has consistently exerted his managerial status to secure funds for the team. Without his desire to truly promote the ideals of FIRST, the team could have easily collapsed from the loss of a solid sponsor.

Rarely is such a great cause blessed with such a committed individual as Scott Strickland. He fully deserves the Woodie Flowers Award for all of his contributions to both his students and his team. Thanks Scott for all that you do – We at ComBBAT salute you!