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Samuel Pinches

Samuel Pinches

Image description: Samuel smiling in front of a white background

This month, our community spotlight features Samuel Pinches, a Chemical Engineering graduate who participated in our most recent Makeathon. For Sam, his passion lies in making and designing things in his spare time.

How did you hear about TOM: Melbourne and what made you join?

Where to start? I guess the easy way would be to say that I really love the satisfaction of solving tricky problems. I originally heard about TOM: Melbourne several years ago, while exploring various hackathons. I thought the mission sounded awesome - to help tackle a challenge in someone's everyday life, so when I had the chance I signed up.

What was your role in the Makeathon? What was the challenge for your team?

For our Challenge, we worked closely with our Need-Knower, a young man named Brenton. Our team was tasked with finding a solution to help Brenton easily put on gloves - in particular, gardening gloves - by himself. My job on the team was in designing the final 3D models from our concept designs, and then running the 3D printer to see the solution come to life. I also helped to document our project, writing up the solution, and preparing a guide, so that others with the same kinds of challenges would more easily be able to replicate our work in the future.

How did you find the overall experience?

In the age of the "human malware", I think everyone needs to be flexible and creative. Our team made great use of cloud collaboration tools to make progress even when our team couldn't physically meet. I found the experience to be an awesome chance to make some new friends with all kinds of talented and skilled people, and I had great fun bringing my engineering background to a real world problem!

What are your top three learnings from the Makeathon experience?

My 3 biggest learnings include: 1) People really matter. Keep the people you're trying to help in your central focus at all times. 2) Good communication is key for teamwork. If you want to harness the full potential of a team of smart people, keep the dialogue and conversation flowing. 3) Don't underestimate the power of hot glue - or its power to burn you!

September 2021

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