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Robotics Challenge

NFPA Announces 2018 Robotics Challenge Winner

A California high school senior has been named as this year's scholarship recipient.

The National Fluid Power Association recently announced Jacob Barnes, of Orcutt, Calif., as the winner of the 2018 NFPA Robotics Challenge Scholarship. This scholarship program awards $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) to a high school senior who participates in a FIRST Robotics or National Robotics League Competition Team and utilizes fluid power in their robot designs. It may be used to study engineering at any accredited technical college or university in the United States.

Here is a little bit about Jacob, in his own words:

“I was born and raised in Orcutt, Calif. and attended Orcutt Academy High School. My hobbies include singing tenor in a barbershop quartet, participating in FIRST robotics, playing video games, and I am a third-degree black belt in Shaolin Kenpo.

I spent four informative years on my high school’s FIRST team, 3512 Spartatroniks, where I was on the electrical sub-team and the Electrical Lead my senior year. Team 3512 qualified for the FIRST World Championships three of the four years I was on the team. FIRST provided me with a tremendous amount of real-world, job-like experience.

I will be pursuing a Master’s degree in electrical engineering at my dream school, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, taking advantage of their 4 + 1 master’s program and their “learn by doing” philosophy.

This scholarship will help tremendously, allowing me to focus more on my studies instead of having to worry about finances. I am very thankful for the opportunity given to me by the NFPA, and I am looking forward to being a part of the bright future of the fluid power industry.

Jacob Barnes

The NFPA judges who interviewed Jacob were impressed by his knowledge of pneumatics, his initiative, and his plan to mentor FIRST Robotics teams. Judges included:
Andrew Kleitsch, of Caterpillar, Inc.;

Bill Haley, of FORCE America;

Jim Kaas, of Iowa Fluid Power;

Bob Hammond, of Deltrol Fluid Products;

Bradlee Dittmer and Charles Werdehoff, of IMI Precision;

Tom Peterson, of HUSCO;

Frank Langro, of Festo;

Jonathan Steigerwald, of Gates Corp.,

Larry Davis, of Daman; and

Barb DeCesare of Hydraforce.

NFPA received 105 applications for the 2018 scholarship, which helps to create awareness in high school students about the benefits of fluid power and the many exciting careers.

If you would like to be a judge for next year's Robotics Challenge Scholarship applications, contact Lynn Beyer at [email protected] or (414) 778-3364.

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