Tejas George

Robotics Senior To Continue Passion For STEM With Computer Science


Tejas George

Senior Tejas George, a key member of the CRyptonite Robotics Team, will be continuing his passion for STEM this fall as he attends Purdue University for Computer Science.

Donovan Nichols, News Editor

Senior Tejas George says he practically eats, sleeps, and breathes robotics; a dedicated member of the CRyptonite robotics team, he estimates he puts in nearly 400 hours every spring semester, January through April, working on the robot during build season, preparing and updating it between and at competitions, and just “squeezing in robotics wherever and whenever” he can. George will be continuing this interest in STEM this fall, attending Purdue University to pursue a major in computer science.

“It’s just a fun field,” George said. “My favorite aspect of it so far that I’m interested in doing more with is AI controlled robots. I think it’s so interesting that we can make machines that can do things like a human can, but might choose to process and go about it in a way completely different from how a human might.”

George said he was looking forward to the greater independence he will have in college, as well as getting more involved with computer science and learning more about the different aspects of it.

“I’m just excited to see what cool stuff I can do with it,” George said. “One thing I really like about Purdue is that they have some career fairs specifically for CS students. All sorts of companies and government contractors show up to those. I talked to a student who said he worked with the Department of Defense after sophomore year and IBM after junior year. Just all that experience I can get is so exciting.”

His decision to go into computer science has been influenced by his time in robotics, bringing him to “the concept of a STEM career in the first place,” George said. He has participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for all four years of high school, serving as the Vice President of Build this year and Team President last year for CRyptonite, and was on the drive team his freshman year on his team in Georgia. His involvement with robotics even influenced his family’s move to Houston during the summer after his freshman year.

“My parents told me that they had narrowed it down to two suburbs of Houston, Katy or Sugarland, but wanted me to pick the exact school district,” George said. “My dad found a couple schools that he thought I would like because they had similar STEM classes to my old school, but none of them had FRC robotics. I told them, ‘It has to have a robotics team.’ My mom found the CRyptonite website and told me the team was from a school in the area, and after I looked at it for a little bit we agreed to move here so I could join CRyptonite.”

Through his time in robotics, George has seen many successes; in 2018, CRyptonite had its best year since 2014, and his team in Georgia his freshmen year was one of the best in the world, ending up as a division finalist at the world championship. He says robotics has taught him more about design and being able to apply his physics knowledge to real-world engineering.

“I think I’ve learned you don’t always have to put 100% effort into everything you do,” George said. “Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to get down and push for something, but something I learned through robotics is sometimes it’s not worth the effort. Sometimes we would be trying to add something extra, maybe an extra function or mechanism for the robot, and it was best instead to just take a step back and think, ‘What are we gaining from this, and what are we putting in to make this happen?’ It’s important to be optimistically realistic, because sometimes stepping back and reevaluating can help you realize that there’s a different path you can take that might be quicker and might have a better end result.”

George’s advice to underclassmen would be to find an extracurricular or hobby to be passionate about and to commit to it. “Robotics has helped me branch out a lot more,” he said.

“Try a bunch of stuff until you find something you really enjoy, and then dive into it full force,” George said. “You just have to really give it your all.”