When I was in high school I was worrying about who to go to Prom with and if I would ever get my toe-touch (I never did).
These ladies are building. frickin. robots.
Who you are: Catherine Colletti and Joey Schmaltz
What you do: members of the FTC Robotics team, The Quarks 3591
Where you do it: Eureka High School
What drew you to robotics? What do you love about it and what are the biggest challenges?
Catherine: I thought robotics would be a lot of fun and I would get a chance to learn a lot about engineering, plus I have been doing robotics of some sort since I was in 4th grade and I wanted to continue in high school. I love it because I get to apply what I learn in class about engineering to a real purpose. It is super exciting and there are so many different things we can do when we design our robot. The biggest challenge would be when the robot or the programming or the wiring is not working the way it is supposed to. Also, since this is a team effort, we have to make sure we work together well and consider the ideas of all team members.
Joey: My entire family is made up of engineers and I felt like joining something that would give me an opportunity to be around things where the main focus is engineering would just bring me closer to my family as well as to some of my friends that were already on the team when I joined. I love the team aspect of robotics, we (all 13 of us) act like a BIG family and we may have some “sibling” bickering and not getting along just like a real family does but we all love each other at the end of the day. The biggest challenge was probably the communication within the team. The team has one large group chat with everyone plus some in it and that can get out of hand sometimes and then there is also the face to face communication that didn’t always happen or if it did hardly anyone was participating in the discussion.
What accomplishment (within robotics or otherwise) are you most proud of?
Catherine: The Quarks received the Think Award, the award for the top engineering notebook, at the Missouri State Competition this year. This then qualified us to compete at the North Super Regionals, which was a really cool opportunity.
Joey: I was really proud of our team making it to super regionals, especially since this was my first year in robotics it was just awesome! Personal wise, I had brain surgery in 2013 so that’s kinda cool that I’m better now.
What are your plans for the future?
Catherine: First, I want to finish high school. 🙂 After that, I am looking to go to college for engineering, most likely Materials Engineering.
Joey: 100% honest here- I’ve no idea, but I’ve got a while to figure that one out
If you could have coffee with any woman, historical or living, who would it be and why?
Catherine: I would talk to Marie Curie because I love chemistry and would be interested in her discoveries of two elements.
Joey: The inspiration for the Mona Lisa, so that I could ask her what her name is and who does her eyebrows so that I can arrest them for theft
Fun question: M&Ms– plain or peanut? (or pretzel, or crispy, or peanut butter…)
Catherine: The original M&Ms, or peanut butter. Both are amazing.
Joey: Pretzel, is there even any other kind?
What is the best song to sing to in the shower or when you are alone in the car?
Catherine: I don’t really have a favorite. It’s generally whatever song I have stuck in my head at the moment or is on the radio.
Joey: I’m really bad at remembering lyrics to usually I just hum the tune of what ever song is stuck in my head and it mixed with 4 other songs and until you can no longer tell what genre it was even from to begin with
What was the best piece of advice you have received? What was the worst?
Catherine: The best two pieces of advice I have received are to (1) not worry about other people and do what makes you happy, and (2) aim high because even if you don’t do what you aim to, you’ll still end up doing something great. The worst piece of advice I have received is “just do what everyone else is doing”
Joey: The best was only you can take away your happiness, and the worst was when my uncle told me that doing a belly flop off a diving board wouldn’t hurt at all
What books or TV shows do you think everyone needs to read/watch, like, right now?
Catherine: The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a must-read.
Joey: It depends on what you like, but if you really wanted a recommendation list, I have one about a mile long (which is not as long as my to-read list)
What is your definition of beauty? When/where do you feel most beautiful?
Catherine: A person who is beautiful is someone who has a presence that just seems to glow because you can tell that they are happy and confident and they seem to spread that happiness wherever they go. I feel the most beautiful when I am around my family or friends doing something I enjoy.
Joey: Beauty is something that someone achieves when they are completely immersed in whatever they enjoy doing the most or when they feel the most loved or confident. I feel beautiful when I’m reading or drawing, or surrounded by people that love me for who I am, not who they want me to be, like my family and friends.