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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Jacob Drennen: A Robot Mechanics’ Journey towards success

Jacob Drennen at a Robotics Competiton

Jacob Drennen grew up in Cadet, Missouri on his family’s farm. Jacob graduated from Kingston K-14 as a part of the class of 2021. He was a student at Unitec from his sophomore year to his senior year and when he graduated, he began teaching robotics at Unitec Career Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. You can always find him in either the classroom or working on a robot.

Rylan Declue, a robotics student of Jacob’s at Unitec said, “Jacob is a big inspiration in the classroom and always encourages us to do better and practice. He’s a great teacher, a great friend, and a big influence on everyone in the classroom. He has shown me that hard work can make an impact on how our robots function and look. Jacob has made it possible for me to be able to go to State competition with my team, and even the Worlds competition. I couldn’t thank him enough for the work he has put into us.”

Jacob has gone to various competitions like Worlds and State. His partner, Dean Parker, has been by his side through many of these competitions. They both have made history at Unitec and Jacob has reached many individual milestones for both Kingston and Unitec through his years in robotics. Jacob has had many teams, consisting of students from many surrounding schools such as Potosi, Bismarck, Valley, Kingston, North County and more.

Jacob said, “I started robotics in the Upward Bound program at Mineral Area College. Then they got a grant and got some money to go towards STEM, so they were trying to find ways to spend that money and one of the things was robotics. The first robotics competition is a huge thing at the start of a season. I got interested in this program because I got to meet up with friends or students from various schools. So after school each day, I was able to hop into a van and ride to MAC to continue working on these robots and see my friends. A big reason I got into teaching is to show my students that they can achieve greatness with large amounts of practice and setting clear goals.”

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He has been a role model and teacher to many students and encourages them every day to be the best version of themselves and to never give up on anything, even if you fail or succeed on the first try. Jacob has grown from being a competitor to being an instructor and helping other students realize their potential and help them be successful in their robotics careers. Jacob is very patient with his students and will teach anyone, no matter who you are.

Matthew Laird, another student of Jacob’s said, “He has inspired me in a lot of ways, especially to continue in robotics, no matter if the time is rough or easy. He has made me feel more comfortable in robotics. I struggled finding a position I was good in. I was afraid I would disappoint the team, but as he taught me, I started to understand my worth to the team. He has encouraged me on several occasions to do my best, and I would describe Jacob as a great teacher and an amazing friend, not just to me, but to every person he comes across.”

Jacob is determined to teach the younger people robotics, and to show them how hard work can make an impact on your performance and your team’s performance. He wants everyone to succeed, no matter who you are. Jacob has impacted several people and hopes to continue to do that. Jacob can be seen in the classroom most of his freetime helping students or working on robots. There have been many times where Jacob has changed a person’s life in a positive way, both through robotics and teaching and through just being their friend.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Drennen
Sophie Drennen, Reporter
My name is Sophie Drennen. I am a Junior at Potosi High School. I am currently in National Honor Society. Throughout my years of high school, I have been on the Speech Team, Thespian Society, Drama Club, Student Ambassadors, NHS, spotlight operator for two musicals, Softball, and One Act Play.

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