I just want to say thank you for everything you have done with this website. You have no idea how much of an impact the high quality information on this site has had on my life.
I discovered this website in 2008, at age 13. I was in eighth grade at the time and I fell in love with the idea of robotics. I devoured all of the information on the site, reading every page and learning everything I possibly could about mechanical, electrical and software engineering. I eventually mustered up the courage to try building the $50 Robot (http://www.societyofrobots.com/step_by_step_robot.shtml
) and after 4 long months of troubleshooting and a lot of help from the amazing SOR community, I eventually got it working.
Since then I have built numerous robots and contraptions, all with the skills and information I learned here. When high school came around, I was the "go-to" robotics guy for my Science Olympiad team, and I was actually able to place out of honors physics and into AP physics in eleventh grade because I had already learned many of the fundamentals from this website. I have applied the information I learned here in work that I have done for multiple companies developing Solar PV Tracking arrays and the knowledge I gained in electrical engineering also helped me land a job at a solar energy company.
What I gained from this site was more than just information. After finishing that first robot, I discovered that I had a passion - a passion to take an idea from the drawing board and give it life. I fell in love with science and engineering and realized that it is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and I have been actively pursuing both ever since this discovery.
Earlier this school year, I went through the introspective process of college applications. After thinking long and hard about what made me who I am, I realized that this was it. When asked about a defining moment in my life, I pointed admissions officers to this website, and told them this same story.
I recently enrolled at MIT where I will likely be studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and I hope to one day pursue a career in this field. None of this would have been possible had you not made such high quality information available to anyone for free.
So, with the utmost sincerity, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share your passion and knowledge with the rest of the world. It has made a massive impact on my life, and I'm sure it has for many others.