From FIRST to Olin


If you’re reading this, chances are you really like robotics. And if that’s the case, you definitely aren’t alone (read: me too!!). My name is Maia and I was on FRC team 1197. Now I’m in my first semester at Olin College of Engineering.

When I was looking at colleges, I wanted to keep my favorite parts of FIRST. I knew that I wanted team-based, hands-on learning from day one and a cool group of people to build things with. At most schools, those were a part of extracurricular activities.

At Olin, though, those things basically are the curriculum. I’ve been at Olin for less than two months and have created a Python model and simulation of the spread of disease, built circuits to measure everything from humidity to heart rate (seriously, I’ve made a different circuit for some real world application every week), and designed and built a mechanical hopping device.

The best part of all of this is that you don’t need any previous experience with these things. Olin is awesome because we work in teams or if we are doing individual projects, help each other. I knew basically nothing about circuits coming into school, but literally everyone here from my professors to my friends were supportive and taught me what I needed to know. Olin is one of the tightest knit communities I have ever been in and it definitely shows in and out of classes.

If you’re afraid of leaving hands-on, collaborative engineering behind after FIRST (read: also me last year!), be sure to check out Olin! I love it here and I’ve found all of my favorite parts of robotics at Olin.

Good luck this season, and if you want to talk Olin or robots (or anything else), feel free to email me!



This is me at robotics!


PS: Olin also has lots (and lots and lots) of robots to play with and do research on as well as an Engineering degree with a concentration in Robotics—we are one of the only colleges that offers robotics at the undergraduate level. Check out more about some of that fun stuff in Alex’s blog here or in the RoboLab here!

Posted in: Maia '22, Class of 2022