Engineering Technician Collin Robinett’s eyes light up when he talks about FIRST Robotics. He credits the FIRST program with inspiring his career path that led him to Honeywell, and he’s dedicated to helping young people have the same positive experience.
Collin was surprised and honored to receive the Volunteer of the Event/Year Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Competition in Kansas City, Mo. where he was volunteering as a referee.
He first got hooked on FIRST Robotics as a high school sophomore and member of Team Titanium at Lee’s Summit West High School.
“Meeting people, working as a team, playing an exciting game…it felt like a sports team, and it was so much fun,” said Collin.
After high school and college, Collin worked as an Americorps Vista supporting the FIRST Robotics programs in Kansas City through the KC STEM Alliance, one of Honeywell’s nonprofit partners. Collin thinks his experience with FIRST helped him prepare for his career as an Engineering Technician.
“FIRST provides an incredible opportunity for pretty much everyone involved to get better at mechanics, math, problem solving, communication and team work. It is real world experience and an excellent pathway into careers like we have at Honeywell,” said Collin.
As a referee at weekend competitions, Collin says he gets the best seat in the house to watch the action on the playing field. “I get to watch teams of students compete with their robots, seeing what months of effort can turn in to, and ultimately seeing them experience the same successes on the field that I did as a student,” said Collin.
Collin describes FIRST Robotics competitions as a high-octane sport that just happens to be a powerful STEMM engagement tool.
“Honeywell has given me a fantastic opportunity to continue my previous work with FIRST with support through our community outreach program and the ability to give my time, while not taking away from my job,” said Collin. “I wholeheartedly believe that I would not have essentially my dream job at Honeywell if it was not for my involvement in FIRST as a student and now as a volunteer.”