I started programming about four years ago when I picked up a book on Ruby and found it really interesting. I worked through the book and played around with code for about six months, but was never able to apply it. I continued playing with code off and on for a few months after that.
After experimenting with Ruby, I found the Lego Mindstorms robotics kit.
It allows you to build and program a robot that you can interact with.
A man in my church, Mr. Wayne Bollinger, led a team that worked with the robots and prepare them for regional robotics competitions.
I joined the group about two years ago and have been participating since.
The team consisted of me, Jake Briley, Andrew Martin, David Creasman, Chris Bollinger and Seth Arnold.
Our robotics training focused on learning the basics of Java, the language we used to program the robots, before we actually applied that knowledge to creating the code. The competition theme was rescue and the goal was to have our robot follow a line, avoid obstacles and climb a ramp. At the top there was a room in which a can sat. The final goal was to pick it up and place it on a platform in one of the corners. When it came to working on the robots, assignments were split up between all the members, but we worked together to finish the code and find all the bugs. We were far from winning, but we learned valuable lessons in applying our coding knowledge, collaborating, persevering, and finishing well.
With summer in full swing, I started working on fun java projects mostly having to do with games. Unfortunately I never completed a project, but it gave me more experience in different areas of coding. I also began learning the basics of python, but haven't found any ways to apply it.
This past year we entered a second competition in robotics. The team this year consisted of me, Jake Briley, Timothy Creasman and Chris Bollinger. The goal of this competition was to make soccer playing robots. We were able to use our experience from the previous year as well as extra time to work on the robot. In February of this year my robotics team went up to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey for the soccer competition. Our Robots won and we became national champions of our age group.
This summer, in preparation for the academy, I started learning Html, CSS and did some refreshing on my knowledge of Ruby. I have played around with them, but until now, I haven't really had any ways to apply them.