What kind of  Maker are you?

A robot maker, and I also make sculptures.

How old were you when you first got involved in the Maker community?

I started VEX Robotics at the end of Year 10, when I was 13-4. As a kid I was an avid DUPLO and block builder, I would make ENORMOUS forts, often bigger than me!

Why did you get into Making?

I got into Robotics because a friend of mine needed help, all the seniors in the team had left for exam break and she was the only junior in the team at the time, so it was just her making these robots. I vividly remember the first day I went to help, and after that session I had decided that that was it. I loved it, and I’m still involved now. That was surprising for me because I had never considered Engineering, or Computer Science as something I wanted to do, or be around.
Since before I can remember my career dream was to be a Zoo Keeper. And then robotics happened. Now I’m studying computer science, hoping to pursue a career in Project Management, or own my own business in the future.

What inspires you when you are working on a project?

At the moment it’s more the educational side for me. I loved the experience I got from doing robotics, and Engineering was something I didn’t consider before getting thrown into it. I want for others to know that it’s an option for them. I also just love the community, and the amazing support you get from people on the whole. I had never really experienced that kind of whanaungatanga prior to being in this community, and I definitely think that it was something that helped drive me to be better, and know more.

I think that in more recent years, finding problems and then actually overcoming them has driven and inspired me. Feeling that sense of achievement and knowing that you have truly improved and learnt after overcoming an obstacle, is something I find more and more rewarding.

What advice would you give to young people who want to get involved?

Honestly, just start, just try it out. If you hate it, that’s okay, you don’t have to pursue that path. And if you love it, then how glad will you be that you gave it a shot?

And also, go in with a positive attitude, be kind, and remember that the worst thing that can happen is you fail – failing isn’t a bad thing! I have failed so many things, and succeeded at some too. But what I’ve learnt from that is that if you don’t fear the worst case scenario, then there really isn’t anything to fear, and instead of being scared you can use that energy somewhere else.