Bryan Herbst

Member of the Inaugural Class of 2010

Team: 2052 – KnightKrawler (Medtronic/Groves Foundation & Irondale High School)

Regional: Minnesota 10000 Lakes Regional

Over the summer of 2009, the three student leaders of our team 2052 realized that the team had run face first into a huge problem for the third time. Since the team’s creation four years ago, a small group of extremely dedicated seniors (and sometimes juniors) would work almost nonstop to build our robot. Then, they would graduate and a new group of four or five students would learn the skills necessary to build a robot the next year. While this worked for a few years, this pattern was certainly not conducive to continuing a robotics team, and would not allow forthe team to grow. Thus Bryan Herbst, under the guidance of head mentor Katie Bach set out to complete a massive reorganization of the team.

While Katie played a huge hand in the reorganization effort, it certainly would not have been successful without Bryan. Though passionate about robotics, Katie and the other mentors have jobs that they had to attend to. Thus Bryan began to outline the team’s future.

Prior to this season, students just showed up on a whim, the team never had any sense of rules or a schedule, and we never had a roster of any kind. As a result, no one ever really knew who was on the team or even how many people were in it. In creating a registration form, he and the mentors realized that the team had never even asked about allergies, medical conditions, or other medical information (such as emergency contacts). We had obviously gotten lucky for four years. After he completed the first draft of the packet, he sent it off to the mentors for review. Then he modified it 3 more times before the team was ready to go.

The next order of business was getting parents more involved and making the team more public in the school. To accomplish these goals, Bryan worked with the school administration to reserve the school’s auditorium for an informational night in late October. Unfortunately, the mentors could not make it to the meeting, and the other two student leaders called the night before to say they could not attend. Regardless, the meeting was a success. Nearly 30 students expressed interest (25 of whom stayed with the team), and around 10 parents signed up to help provide food and transportation for the team.

While all of this was going on, Bryan was working on another project, incorporating the team.
The mentors had grown tired of a complicated money management system that had to be run through the school district (and often meant they wouldn’t see their money for two to six months), and decided that having a team bank account would help greatly. Once again, however, the mentors have jobs. Thus Bryan spent hours researching incorporation and 501(c)(3) status, then created a set of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, which were approved by the state of Minnesota.

2009 was not the first year Bryan showed leadership and dedication to team 2052. He is the
very first member to participate in the robotics team for four years, and is the only remaining member from our rookie year (06-07). He worked for three years as one of our two programmers, pneumatics wizards, and electricians. Bryan began taking over team leadership last year when the captain then came down with mono the week before kickoff. One of his most popular and visible additions to the team was the t-shirt cannon that he convinced the team to make over the summer of 2008, which the team brings to home football games to the wild adoration of the school.

Bryan has earned the respect of everyone on the team in nearly everything he does. He was the first (one one of the very few) to learn the names of everyone on the team. Bryan greatly inspires other team members to get involved in everything because he is not only involved in robotics, but is captain of the school’s drumline, marching band, is vice-president of the National Honors Society, and is also an Eagle Scout.


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