SOLIDWORKS has been a consistent supporter of FIRST competitions, where students from all across the globe showcase their talents in robotics. However, that is not the extent of our association. We take immense pride our very own FIRST Family at SOLIDWORKS, where we recently spoke with Nirali Jain who told us more about their involvement in this joyride.

Nirali is the Safety Captain for her team STORMGEARS , that recently enjoyed her stint at the FIRST Robotics World Competition. Nirali goes to 11th grade at Acton Boxborough Regional High School, and enjoys photography among her other interests. “One of my many interests is photography, I love taking pictures wherever I go and always have my camera with me. My pictures have been displayed at a Boston Museum for Youth Art Month and for the Hosmer House Project in Acton”, she told us. Besides school, robotics, and photography, Nirali also works with Asha who works towards raising funds to support child education in countries such as India.

We asked her how she became involved in FIRST and she told, “Mom wanted to put my brothers in a robotics program, when she found about STORMGEARS”. The team was founded three years ago, and currently comprises of 55 high school level students from Massachusetts. They compete during the season, where qualification for next stage depends on overall points accumulated in each round. STORMGEARS gave a spectacular performance at the NE District Granite State Event in Windham, NH, that was held from March 3 to 5, 2017, and won the Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories. They also bagged this award at the NE District Hartford Event in Hartford, CT, held from March 31 to April 2, 2017, and won the 2nd place at the New England District Championship at UNH, that began on April 5, 2017.

We asked Nirali about her role as a Safety Captain to which she explained, “I am trained in first aid, AED, CPR, and bloodborne pathogen. I train all team members on first aid and safety before they are allowed to work on the robot, regulate safety during build season and on competitions, document all injuries and near misses to make corrective actions prevent future injuries, and document a Safety Data Sheet for each material/chemical we use on the robot and have document basic safety procedures”. She continues, “Besides these, I handle the outreach efforts – goto girls steam events to explain safety, make blogs on our website, meet other safety captains and handout brochures and sample first aid kits”.

Her twin brothers, Arjun and Kunal, who go to 9th grade, work in the mechanical engineering group, and her parents are mentors for the team. Kanan Jain, is a mentor for the Safety group, and Suchit Jain, VP Strategy and Business Development at SOLIDWORKS, is a mentor for the team overall.

The team made it to the FIRST world competition in St.Louis, Missouri, this year. “It was a great experience, but unfortunately we did not make the finals. Our robot had a tough time at the start and as the competition, but as we went on our performance was better ultimately ending with a rank of 31 out of 68”, says Nirali. With so much on her plate already, Nirali and her family have been managing the time for their involvement in FIRST robotics with enthusiasm and more to look forward to.

Thank you Nirali for sharing your story with us! SOLIDWORKS is very happy to sponsor STORMGEARS, and takes pride in our association with the FIRST Family. Keep up the excellent work!    





Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard