By Samantha Engelhardt
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Simon Davies, one of the Avon Robotics Team mentors, for a brief interview. Mr. Davies found out about the robotics team at our yearly February open house. He has been a mentor for the last two years. When asked his favorite part about mentoring for the Roborioles he states he loves the “students and the ideas that they bring to the project, including their excitement”. In addition to helping the Roborioles specifically, Mr. Davies has other ties to FIRST Robotics. Last competition season, he was a judge at one event and a referee at two other events. It was no wonder our team did so great last year! He proclaims that he “enjoyed being a referee as it was a lot easier than judging. It was a lot more fun because I was able to see all the different robots that teams had created actually playing the game..”
Luckily, Mr. Davies isn’t all work and seriousness; he likes to have fun too! During last year’s build season, Mr. Davies would stand directly under the goal while the drivers practiced shooting at the goal (or more often, his face). He enjoyed making everyone laugh and seeing some of the reactions from many of the kids. Simon said that being a mentor isn’t all fun and games; there are some challenges too. Luckily, Mr. Davies has a job in the STEM field which he says helps him greatly while mentoring. He is very pleased with teaching methods and results of it. He says it is important to speak the “same language as the student” because communication is essential. If a student has an idea, it is hard for Mr. Davies to let that fail and dissolve. He would always ask himself if and where a student’s idea could fit into the robot. “Everyone has something to teach you,” claims Davies, “…the best thing is that there is lots of leadership on the team and everyone is helping each other out.”
This interview allowed me to learn a lot about Simon Davies that I never knew. When you are working asa team, it is important to know your team mates and I feel like I have successfully accomplished that. I will never hesitate to ask him for help or talk with him. I hope that Simon had fun being interviewed because I had fun interviewing him.