Meet the 2022 Robotics Challenge Scholarship Winner

Programs like the Fluid Power Robotics Challenge Scholarship are made possible in part by the generous support of industry volunteers as well as NFPA Education and Technology Foundation and Pascal Society donors. Support these efforts by making a donation.


Colton Seitz of Collierville, Tennessee is the winner of the 2022 NFPA Robotics Challenge Scholarship. The scholarship program received strong applications from students across the country who used pneumatics in robotics competitions.

This scholarship program helps build awareness of fluid power benefits and careers among high school students. The scholarship awards $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) to a high school senior who participates in a FIRST® Robotics, National Robotics League, or VEX Robotics Competition Team and uses fluid power in the competition robot. The money awarded is used to study engineering at any accredited technical college or university in the United States.

This scholarship program helps build awareness of fluid power benefits and careers among high school students. The scholarship awards $40,000 ($10,000 per year for four years) to a high school senior who participates in a FIRST® Robotics, National Robotics League, or VEX Robotics Competition Team and uses fluid power in the competition robot. The money awarded is used to study engineering at any accredited technical college or university in the United States.

Colton will be using the scholarship to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His experience in Robotics and his strong math background helped shape his desire to study engineering.

Hailing from Collierville, Tennessee, Colton has had an active high school career. In addition to Robotics, he is a member of the National Honor Society, one of the captains of his school’s rock-climbing club, and an active volunteer at his church. His volunteer experience includes delivering food boxes, creating birthday bags for a local food pantry, and serving on the Tech Team helping with children’s ministry. He said that delivering food boxes had the greatest impact on him because he was able to interact with people who were living very different lives than his own. Colton graduated 13th in his class and was also a National Merit Finalist.

Colton started with robotics in seventh grade in the FIRST LEGO League. When he entered high school, he joined the school’s FIRST Robotics League team. He became a captain his freshman year because the team recognized his dedication and put him in charge of the team that was developing the cascade lift. Throughout his high school career, he has taken on more responsibilities with the team including working on the shooting and end game mechanics. While the pandemic cancelled the in-person competition his junior year, Colton and his team used that time to teach younger team members and get ready for the next year. Colton won Rookie of the Year as well as the Legacy Award, which is given to the student who did the best job teaching others and setting the team up for future success.

The University of Alabama rose to the top of Colton’s list after he visited their campus. Not only were people very welcoming, but he also learned about the university’s EcoCAR Mobility Challenge team. The EcoCAR program is a design/build competition aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. Colton is interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry which will allow him to explore pneumatics and hydraulics applications.

This scholarship covers a significant amount of the cost to attend University of Alabama, which will make it easier for Colton to focus on learning and solving problems he is passionate about. We asked Colton what winning the scholarship meant to him. He said, “Receiving the scholarship is a big deal to me, as it allows me to better focus on pursuing my education in a field that is desperate for new faces. Additionally, the idea of winning a scholarship like this allows me to set an important example for those in my family and community that no goal you set your mind to is unachievable.”

The NFPA judges who interviewed Colton were impressed his genuine interest in the fluid power industry and his commitment to his community. Thank you to all of our judges: Bob Hammond of Deltrol Fluid Products, Frank Langro of Festo, Bill Haley of FORCE America, Tom Peterson of HUSCO, Josh Scarbrough of IFP Motion Solutions, Inc., Kent Sowatzke, Bradlee Dittmer, and Charles Werdehoff of Norgren, and Tom Blansett of the International Fluid Power Society.

If you would like to be a judge for next year’s Robotics Challenge Scholarship applications, please contact the NFPA Workforce Team at workforce@nfpa.com.

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