Vatsal Sharda’s Journey as Robotics Champion

HOUSTON: Vatsal Sharda, a sixth grader and his First Lego League (FLL) Challenge team – TechBlaze won the 1st place Champions award with the highest Robot Score in Texas Regionals. They will now compete at the FLL World Championship against the best teams from the USA and across the world. Kavita Sharda, Coach of the Techblaze Robotic team is also Vatsal’s mother.  As per mom & coach Kavita, every FLL team dreams to compete in the World Championship and this is like a dream come true after years of hard work and dedication. Team Techblaze, with Vatsal being the only member since inception, has been consistently in the top 2 position for the last 4 years.

Kavita shares some interesting stories of Vatsal’s robotic journey. “When Vatsal was just a toddler, he was an inquisitive child who was always fascinated by how things worked. At age 5, when kids of his age were playing with hot wheels cars, Vatsal built his own Lego remote-control cars. At age 7, during hurricane Harvey, Vatsal assembled 2.5 feet walking Robot in his playroom” says Kavita. Vatsal has also won MIT App invention challenge in Jun 2020 for developing COVID tracking app.

“Looking at his passion for robotics, we chose to form his Robotics team at home when he was in Grade 1. Vatsal, being the team’s most experienced and passionate team member, has put many hours outside of the team meetings to get his team to this point and is helping his other team members with the programming. This year, for the Innovation Project, he designed and coded a device using Arduino electronics and C++ as well as a mobile app. Now he also teaches Robotics at West Briar Middle school, a beautiful way to give back to the community. I believe that by coaching the robotics team at home, I have not only paved the way for Vatsal, but also given other children the opportunity to learn robotics”.

“I want to conclude by revealing the secret that helped us in development of our children. We observed Vatsal’s interests and created free time for him to explore rather than doing multiple different activities at the same time. Sometimes parents enroll their kids in multiple activities because their friends are doing it. Every child is unique and have different interest areas. Allow them to try new things and develop passion, one at a time. Sooner or later, they will express their interests, and as a parent,we should pave the way and guide them; they will walk on it themselves and be successful.