Mark Koors has been a mechanical/electrical engineering mentor for the TechnoKats since 1998. He is not an average mentor; he amazes students by showing them outstanding techniques on using simple, but different techniques to complete tasks. Instead of just telling students to do something, he shows us how and lets us do it. For instance, Mark is one of the first mentors to teach our rookies how to tap holes. Mark may be eccentric sometimes, but to everyone who knows him, they would tell you he is someone who would drop everything to help anyone in need.
Mark’s FIRST experience does not end with just the physical robot. He helped design the innovative New Year’s Eve ball in 1998 for our towns “ball drop”. He designed a new ball, which contains over 31,000 LED’s two years ago, and used it as a training tool for our new students. The freshman and veteran students alike, learned new skills that would become very valuable for the build season; such as pop riveting, soldering, and basic metal fabrication along with wiring.
Mark has also helped the FIRST community by creating a business with fellow TechnoKat engineer Andy Baker. Their foremost goal is to help even the field of FIRST teams so those teams with scarce resources can still be competitive against the more fortunate teams. Over the build season, he never let his AndyMark© business get in the way of his help with the team.
Mark also helps people from outside of FIRST, and the United States. This past summer he went to Haiti and helped dig wells so the villagers would be able to drink clean water. Mark’s involvement with the Haitian aid trips has been kept relatively quiet from the team, but the students and mentors are very proud that he participates in them.
Mark helps run an off-season competition called IRI (Indiana Robotics Invitational). He oversees the set up of the pit area and makes sure that teams have the power that they need to run their robots. Mark does this on a total voluntary basis. He has done this since the beginning of the competition in 2000.
The majority of FIRST teams also know that Mark is always willing to help. At regionals, it is not uncommon to see Mark in another teams pit helping them solve mechanical or electrical issues that could very well take the team out of a competition. He also volunteers at many regionals as an inspector and he also visits many teams at regionals and off-season competitions to make sure they are working the way that team wants.
Mark is also an easy guy to get along with outside of TechnoKats. Kyle Love, Junior and team lead said “Mark really has made an impact on my life; he has taught me that every problem has a solution, you just have to be creative and find that solution.” He is also an exceptionally fun loving guy away from the competition. He makes random jokes, and shows a side that most people never see.
Words can not entirely describe how Mark really is. He is very devoted to the team and the people on the team. He treats the students as if they were one of his own kids. He is always at the shop it seems, always dreaming up the new, mind blowing, thing that is almost guaranteed to ‘WOW’ anyone that sees it.
Mark does not just inspire TechnoKat students; he inspires people around him to challenge the impossible. He shows that there are no limits and to always Aim High!