Team 5414 – Pearadox
Pearland ISD, Texas
This may only be my third year on Pearadox, but I do not think I would be able to replicate my experiences here anywhere else in quite so little time. This team has given me opportunities to not only figure out passions of mine, but also to hone my skills and learn in a way that makes me excited for my future. I came into the team believing it would be solely technical robotics. Working with machinery, on the robot, and with engineer mentors sounded like a dream that only people in the movies get to live. Then, I was introduced to another part of Pearadox—our non-technical team. In it, I found I loved getting to focus on Pearadox’s true mission of inspiring people to appreciate and immerse themselves in STEM. It was full of people who, like me, had felt how motivating and valuable STEM could make someone, and wished to give that opportunity to as many as we could.
Pearadox is an experience creator—for the 60 students on our team, but also for the hundreds of thousands of people we get to meet, teach, and inspire every day. For example, since I joined the team, I’ve co-organized many Girls Get Togethers. These are unique events Pearadox runs at competitions geared towards introducing high school girls to women in engineering. We create a low-pressure environment where the women and girls can share their experiences, discuss advice, and foster an open community that gives girls the chance to have role models that look like them—a scarcity in STEM fields. I have also continued our Girls in STEM magazine initiative, where we create inspiring issues of magazines that contain interviews, tool introductions, and science activities. We spread these for free to anyone who needs it, from women's shelters to daycares, to ensure we can make STEM as inclusive as possible. We even had team members translate the issues to Spanish and Chinese to account for the large population of non-English speakers in the Houston area.
Those two examples were only a few of the initiatives I have been lucky enough to be a part of. I’ve been able to accomplish so much in the community with Pearadox’s help, and that is nothing compared to the 59 other students on our team! In the six years of Pearadox, our team members have been able to volunteer more than 5,000 hours in the community, reaching more than 300,000 people through our endeavors.
With this in mind, I do not think Pearadox is deserving of a sponsorship because we are an award-winning team, or because us students are able to build an incredible robot every year. Rather, I believe Pearadox will take a sponsorship and, like me, make it something greater. Something that will be used to impact those around us who need that motivation towards pursuing their passions, and I can promise we will do it well.