For many potential LaRE Engineers, this may be the first program you’ve ever had to apply for! That’s okay – that’s part of why we require an application; not only does it give us a chance to get to know you, but it’s also good practice for filling out college and scholarship applications when you’re a bit older.
What We’re Looking For
Some of you may be wondering, why do we even have an application? While we wish we could teach everyone, our space and equipment is limited, and so we have to limit the size of our classes. So, we have identified a few qualities that we look for in our applicants:
This is perhaps the most important quality we’re look for. We want to teach students who really want to learn from us; who are excited to come to class each day. We’re NOT looking for prior experience with robotics or who knows the most programming languages – in fact, it’s perfectly fine if you’ve never built a robot before at all! But what we are looking for is students who are willing to commit their Saturdays to working hard, trying new things, and learning all about the wonderful world of robots.
Creativity and Problem Solving
We’re looking for out of the box thinkers and students who enjoy tackling interesting problems. We’re not so much concerned with the right answers as we are with students being willing to make a valiant attempt.
Lack of other similar opportunITies
Part of the core mission of the LaRE is to serve students who might not have another opportunity to participate in a program like this. For this reason, we do take living in a low-income/underserved area into consideration. Not living in one of these areas is not necessarily a disqualifying factor; we welcome applications from all students. The important takeaway here is, if you’ve never done a program like this before, that’s okay! In fact, that’s great! We’d love to be your first introduction to robotics – that’s why we’re here.
And now, for some concrete suggestions for how you can send us a stellar application!
Use complete sentences
No txt sp33k! (That’s “no text speak”, for those of you who don’t sp33k l33t) Write full sentences! Treat your LaRE application like you would treat an essay for school; use full sentences, as well as proper grammar and punctuation. Have an adult or a friend proofread it for you if you need to (but don’t let them write it for you! We want to hear from you, not your parents or teachers!)
Tell us a story
For our three longer questions, we receive plenty of responses that are only a sentence long. How are we supposed to get to know you with just one sentence? Successful answers to these questions are usually 1-2 short paragraphs.
Show us you mean it
Everybody knows robots are cool. That’s why we’re here. So don’t make that your whole answer to “why do you want to join the LaRE?” Tell us why you think robots are cool. Or what specific things you hope to learn this summer. Why are you willing to spend 8 Saturdays in a row with us learning to build these amazing machines? What do you want to do with that knowledge? What do you want to be when you grow up? Let us get to know you a little bit with your answers.