Achieving greatness on a world scale

Senior Terri Brinkman runs the marketing team for the world-champion NYAN robotics team.

Organizing events, maintaining the website and posting on social media, as well as searching and reaching out to potential sponsors, documenting designs, and presenting to judges, senior Terri Brinkman does it all. While marketing may seem as easy as picking a logo and slogan, Brinkman does much more on for NYAN. 

 “The team is divided into several different sub-teams, such as the build team, CAD team, drive team, and marketing team. I am on the marketing team,” Brinkman said. 

NYAN won the first Tech Challenge Detroit World Championship earlier this year. Brinkman has been to many robotics competitions to get to the world stage. The events usually last a day, although the world championship competition was spread over several days. 

“My favorite part of the NYAN team is probably the competitions,” Brinkman said. “Traveling to the worlds in Detroit was one of the coolest experiences. We often interact with and meet new people. However, the competitions are stressful during the playoff matches.”

That stress doesn’t just end with competitions. The NYAN team meets and works almost every day. “It is often very difficult to balance school, robotics, and other extracurriculars,” Brinkman said. 

When building robots, the team gains experience in engineering. They also learn important skills based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

“Robotics has given me great insight into the field of engineering,” Brinkman said. “This team has taught me not only about the engineering design process, but also about coding, app development, and how to work well with other engineers.”