I’m Marshall Vielmetti, a graduating senior at Nicolet High School. My family moved to Fox Point when I first entered 1st grade, and other than 2 years spent abroad, I spent the entirety of my K-8 education in Stormonth School’s, and subsequently Bayside’s, Gifted & Talented Program. I’m planning to go to the University of Michigan this fall to study Robotics & Computer Science.
After entering high school, I was left looking for a similar community, and I found that in Nicolet FEAR, our FIRST robotics team, and through the science fair. I’d always been interested in STEM fields and enjoyed math and science, so both of these felt like natural next steps.
Like many others, I joined FEAR my freshman year with no prior experience. At first, it was somewhat overwhelming; there were so many different things to do, so many people, and a lot to learn, but I quickly felt at home within the programming subteam. I spent my freshman and sophomore years primarily working on programming, where I was able to learn a lot of Java, and build a foundation for my skills. What’s been great about FEAR, however, are the limitless opportunities for growth. As much as I enjoyed programming, I felt somewhat limited in my role on the team, and wanted to branch out in order to make more of an impact. So during the latter half of my sophomore year, I decided to branch out into manufacturing, where I was able to learn how to operate a CNC router, and use Solidworks, an industry standard Computer Aided Design tool. And on top of that, I grew into my own as a leader, spearheading multiple design groups. Now, as a senior, I was responsible for leading the design and manufacture of our robot’s entire game mechanism. Less important than the specific skills, however, was the environment that encouraged me to learn them. With FEAR, there was really no limit to the breadth or depth of skills to learn, and the environment heavily encourages pursuing them.
This experience was very similar to what I felt participating in science fairs. I’ve built three programming-centric projects in the last three years (partially motivated by my experience programming in FEAR), which has given me an excuse to dive both into programming, and 3 other interesting topics. For people who love to dig deeply into a topic that they find fascinating, science fair is a great environment, and one of the best parts of every year is competing. I’ve been at the International Science and Engineering Fair for the past two years, once virtually, and was able to meet other students with similar passions and interests. Learning about the amazing projects they’re working on has been incredibly rewarding and motivating
Taken together, they’re a lot of work - FEAR’s competition season and science fair presentations have a way of colliding with one another. But regardless, both have provided me with an amazing opportunity for growth, and have been two amazingly supportive communities throughout high school. Competing internationally in both was also really a great experience; having the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people with similar interests was great!
Graduating Senior, Nicolet High School
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