In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, Inventor Michael Vawter explains how he turned his passion for robotics into college scholarship dollars. Michael was inducted in to the Young Inventors Hall of Fame in 2009. He also lead his team to consecutive wins in the FIRST Lego League robotics world championship, competing against teams from 39 countries.
Michael says the competitions helped with college scholarships in several ways. It helps on college applications to have won any competitions. It also helped to be in the Young Inventors Hall of Fame. He met several interesting people, including John Glenn. He was also on the TV show, Bill Nye, the Science Guy. In one competition he won $10,000 scholarship.
Michael is 24 and in a graduate program at Seton Hall. He is also CEO of the Robot Academy, a fun and educational camp for kids 4-14. At the camps, kids learn science, technology, engineering and math skills.
Listen Now: Lego Robots and Scholarship Dollars
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About Michael Vawter
Michael Vawter is a technologist and educator from Columbus, OH. After winning an international Lego robotics championship in 2005, he founded the Robot Academy which we will definitely talk more about in this interview. Michael has been featured in Popular Science Magazine, Columbus CEO Magazine and the National Gallery for Young Inventors for his work with robotics and education.
He is currently getting his MBA from Seton Hill University as a Wukich Scholar, doing research and helping students with their business ideas.
- Find mentors. It is okay to walk in to competitions where you don’t know anything. Seek out experts.
- Be strategic about the competitions you choose. Start with smaller ones that emphasize your strengths.
- Treat it like a business proposal. They will provide the details of what they are looking for, so give it to them.
- Pick an invention the judges will relate to.
- Go for the ones that have big rewards. The competitions take a lot of time and energy.
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