Meet a Robotics Challenge Scholarship Awardee – Elliot Scher

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded 3 scholarships to students who applied to the Robotics Challenge Scholarship. A minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, 1,000-word essay, letter of recommendation, and use of pneumatics in their FIRST, VEX or NRL competition robot were required from each applicant. The NFPA Foundation’s goal is to build awareness of fluid power benefits and careers among high school students.

One of the winners, Elliot Scher, is attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute. We asked Elliot a few questions about winning the scholarship.

What does winning this scholarship mean to you?

Winning this scholarship means that I will be able to attend my dream school without the burden of student debt.

When did you first get involved in robotics? How did your experiences and roles in robotics evolve over time?

I first got involved with robotics as a member of a local FIRST Lego League team in elementary school. After middle school, I joined my high school’s FRC team and I worked my way up to captain of the team in my senior year. I’ve learnt so much from my experiences in robotics both in the areas of STEM and interpersonal communication.

Where are you going to college? What made you choose this school? What activities are you hoping to participate in?

I am going to Worcester Polytechnic Institute for their Robotics Engineering program. I am hoping to continue with FIRST by mentoring teams while I am in school. I also am planning on joining the intramural ultimate frisbee team, D&D club and get involved in combat robotics.

What are your career aspirations? What type of fluid power job do you hope to get after you graduate?

I’d eventually like to work in academia and do research for a university. Being on the bleeding edge of robotics and finding new and innovative ways to use what I’ve learned along the way is going to be very rewarding.

One way NFPA members can get involved with scholarship programs is to volunteer as a judge to serve on the application review committee or mentor a robotics team as they work towards incorporating pneumatics in their designs. This year 16 judges from 13 NFPA member companies reviewed 47 student applications to the Robotics Challenge Scholarship program. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Haley Nemeth at

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