NSU University School Student Builds Robots and a Bright Future for Herself

NSU University School junior Sierra Callwood

With art, writing, and theatre crew in the forefront, swimming and cheer coaching as pastimes, and architecture as a passion, 11th grader Sierra Callwood is a well-rounded, all-star student at NSU University School (USchool). But it’s her growing interest in robotics that has recently garnered national attention.

When Sierra was in sixth grade, she began experimenting with gears, robots, and the like on her own. Once she entered USchool’s Upper School, she joined the Robotics Program and advanced her skills. She quickly mastered simple task projects and programming, and eventually built competition robots for the school’s Robotics Team. Fascinated with the problem-solving component of building a robot, Sierra then joined the Advanced Robotics class, which strengthened her abilities in creative thinking and strategy development.

“I enjoy building robots the most. There’s a challenge in taking apart and putting back together competition robots,” said Sierra. “But it’s also freeing to know that you can use whatever you want to build the robot.”

Last year, Sierra’s dedication to the field of robotics paid off when she received a World Championship Robotics award. This year, she won first place in an international online robotics competition with more than 1,000 student participants from around the world. This first-place win qualified Sierra’s Robotics Team to compete in the Vex World Championship, and she received a $750 gift certificate to Vex Robotics.

Because this field combines architecture and spatial reasoning, Sierra’s love of robotics has helped develop her dream to pursue a career in architecture. She is excited about her future and the prospect of attending a college where she can study this subject while continuing her interest in robotics.

“NSU University School creates great opportunities and resources for its students,” she said. “My teachers have pushed me to do my best and learn my strengths.”