During my first year at Tampa Prep as a sixth grader, I took Mr. Quah’s Robotics elective, and I really enjoyed using my own thought process to create my own designs. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t love about that class. Then when my parents bought me a LEGO Mindstorm robotics kit for Christmas in seventh grade, that really reinforced my love for robotics.
I appreciate that Tampa Prep has helped me step out of my comfort zone, while not being overwhelming. It’s a very encouraging place. I remember during our sixth grade class trip we went to TreeUmph, an outdoor obstacle course with zip lining. I thought I would hate it, but I loved it. I would never have tried that if not for that trip. And we got to sleep under a space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center which was also really cool. If I could give one piece of advice to a future Tampa Prep student it would be to not be afraid to try something new.
Last year I joined the VEX robotics team. We attended the state tournament and ranked 24th out of 60 teams, and walked away with the Sportsmanship Award. Our “A Team” made it to the quarterfinals!
This year, as a sophomore, I get to begin the STEM Concentration, which opens up a lot more STEM-related classes that I’m able to take, and helps me focus on what I should take to succeed in the field where I want to be a professional, which is definitely something related to robotics. I’d love to be able to have a job that I’m both good at and enjoy.
Alex is also interested in
Mrs. Suzy Lassacher on Alex
I taught Alex in eighth and ninth grade programming classes (Processing Python and Advanced Python). He’s a very good programmer because of his willingness to try. He’s been here since middle school and over the years I’ve watched him learn to trust his instincts, step outside his comfort zone and be willing to fail, go back and redo. That can be hard for people at any age. It’s frustrating to backtrack. When you’re programming, there are days when every two steps forward is one step back. But Alex’s patience, confidence and maturity has increased immensely from eighth to ninth grade.
The way he thinks is really interesting. I enjoy watching him morph through the process and plan things out. He doesn’t get upset when his code is wrong. His identity is not directly tied to his success or failure anymore, like it was in middle school. He’s just come so far, and I can’t wait to see where he goes, because he’s finding his stride.
This year he’ll be starting the STEM Concentration as a sophomore. He’s very involved in robotics and on the VEX team. He’s very humble and a team player, always the first one to volunteer to help out; just a great young man!