I first recognized my love for robotics when I was a kid–I’ve always liked gadget-y things. In fifth grade I started branching out and joined robotics clubs. That’s a main reason I came to Tampa Prep; because my old school didn’t offer much in the way of robotics, and this school had a lot in that field.
I like robotics because the possibilities are endless. You can program whatever you can think of–and every day you will come into contact with at least one thing that uses it. You’re on your computer right now, for example. Still, even though I do have a love for robotics, I don’t know if that’s something I want to throw my life into or if it’s just a hobby. I’m still in that place where I have multiple paths to choose. But Tampa Prep gives me the ability to have all these options in front of me.
I consider Tampa Prep my second home, because I’m as free here as I am at home. At my old school I was bullied a lot. No kids here have ever said a single mean thing to me. That acceptance has helped me a lot academically. In my old school, I had Cs and Ds, and here I have all As and Bs. I had no idea I was capable of that. I have excelled here because I’m free to be whoever I want. When I was interviewing here, they said “Tampa Prep is a different kind of place.” I thought they said that just to attract people to the school, but it’s actually true–people are really nice here, and nobody judges you. I’m inspired to be a better version of myself.
Sharif is also interested in
Robotic VEX Team
Mr. KK Quah on Sharif
Sharif attended my robotics session at one of our Open Houses and that was it. He was hooked on how things work–understanding not just the technology, but the programming behind it. Our seventh grade class draws them in with VEX IQ and in the spring they learn ARDUINO which is a microprocessor that we use to program.
His enthusiasm stands out most. He just loves the material and being challenged, and tells me all the time that this is the class he looks forward to most. He actually asked me to form a club but unfortunately, our robotics clubs start with eighth graders–but I will invite him to join it anyway because he has what it takes.
He’s a good collaborator. I have seen him talk things through with other kids. He will be an insightful leader. He’s also very quick to grasp the subtleties of a problem. His programs have those final adjustments some other kids don’t. Like, when there’s a lip on the course, I see his robotic lift slightly before going over the lip, where other kids just bulldoze over it. Very strong problem solver.