HSI Sensing Sponsors Team, Inspires Future Engineer

Chickasha, OK — HSI Sensing extended their engineering reach this past year when they sponsored an Oklahoma FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) youth robotics team. Oklahoma FIRST is part of a national organization dedicated to inspiring young people’s interest in science and technology.

Through this unique program, HSI Sensing engineers Zack McGill and Eddie Shearer teamed with local high school students to design and build a robot from a standard kit of parts, then compete at regional and national competitions to solve real-world engineering challenges.

“Talk about a good fit,” says HSI Sensing president David Posey. “When we heard about the Oklahoma FIRST program, we ran at the chance to volunteer.”

Ryan Posey, vice president of operations for HSI, agrees. “Real engineers mentoring future engineers just makes sense to us,” he says. “Not only has it been good for HSI and for the students involved, I think it’s good for the industry. And besides that, it’s just a lot of fun.”

“It’s the hardest fun I ever had,” says Zach Doughty, FIRST participant and captain of the HSI-sponsored team. “We had fun the whole time we were doing it.”

Doughty, who is a senior a Chickasha High School this year, explains that the program is not just about robotics. “It’s about expanding the ideas of how much math and science affect our daily lives.”

Among the things the team learned were basic construction, planning, goal-setting, running a business, and problem-solving. “We learned that there are multiple ways to look at a problem, and multiple ways to solve it,” he says. “We also learned the importance of drive . . . of picking a goal and just going for it.”

And they did more than just go for it. This first-year, HSI-sponsored team earned “Rookie All-Star” honors at not one, but two regional meets they attended—a double honor the team was told is “unheard of” in the FIRST program. They were also recognized at the world championship in St. Louis, Missouri, an event that attracted 400 teams and 40,000 students and sponsors from around the globe.

“HSI was our most driving sponsor,” says Doughty, who plans a career in electrical engineering and design. “They had two engineers who were with us full time and helped us out a lot. It was great.”

The FIRST program also built relationships. Not only did it give team members the opportunity to interact with students all over the world, it gave Doughty a chance to intern in HSI Sensing’s testing department this past summer. He worked on a special project analyzing the capability and repeatability of HSI’s test equipment, processes, and products.

“Zack successfully identified areas where we needed improvements,” says HSI engineering manager Jack Keck. “He helped identify and prioritize future projects using his research, and he worked well with everyone throughout the entire plant.”

In return, Doughty was able to take away experiences in technical report writing and proper methods of data collection and analysis. And because he worked with virtually every department, he gained an understanding of the wide range of products, equipment and processes throughout the entire HSI facility.

“Zack did an outstanding job doing research for us that has given us a new direction of bringing on high school interns each summer that are involved in the FIRST program,” says Keck.

About Us

Headquartered in Chickasha, Oklahoma, HSI Sensing (Hermetic Switch, Inc.) is the innovative leader in the engineering and precision manufacturing of custom reed switch and sensor technology. The industry experts in solving problems for customers in challenging design applications, they also precision manufacture those solutions to ensure consistent, unmatched quality.

Since 1968 HSI Sensing, an ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 registered company, has been the premier choice for custom and standard reed switches, proximity sensors, and other sensing technologies for an array of industries including fluid control devices, reed relays, implantable medical devices, aerospace, heavy equipment, communications, transportation, and more. Their products are used in a variety of applications including commercial and military jet engines, security systems, commercial lawn mowers, external defibrillators, implantable medical devices, space station equipment, animal tracking, and more.

HSI Sensing is a privately-held company wholly owned by the employees. For more information about HSI Sensing, please call 405.224.4046 or visit www.hsisensing.com.