ANTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Throughout the school year, CBS4, and its partners at Colorado School of Mines and PDC Energy, honor high school students who are excelling in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Future Leaders winners get $1,000 and a profile on CBS4.
Tate Schrock, 15, won the award for May. Schrock is a freshman at Arickaree High School in Anton, Colorado. But, Schrock gets most of his inspiration from his family's farm. He's all about engineering solutions to agricultural problems. His newest invention is a Agriculture Soil Probe Rover.
"It will go out, drive throughout your field, take samples from multiple different places in your field, collect those samples, put them in trays, and drive back to you," Schrock explained.
Through several prototypes and a lot of trial and error, Schrock invented the Rover to save time and energy on the farm.
"It will allow farmers to better analyze their soil to apply the best nutrients, to grow the best crops," Schrock told CBS4.
It's that kind of problem solving that drives Schrock. He's constantly trying to innovate ways to make farm life easier for himself, his family, and his community. His family raises cattle, and grows corn and wheat.
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"It's very rural and resources are very limited for what we can do for education, and because of that I've kind of reached out and asked many different people if they can help," Schrock said.
One of those people is Gregg Cannady at STEM Highlands Ranch. Cannady connected Schrock with the robotics team there.
"Their FRC team actually introduced me to a SparkFun robotics competition. Their team up there was headed by Kendrick Castillo, and he really helped me a lot in trying to kick start my own robotics club," Schrock explained.
Now Schrock and his friends build their own battle bots.
"So Tate, you were just at an international competition in Phoenix. What was it like and how did you do?" asked CBS4's Lauren Whitney.
"It was quite fun. I was in Engineering Mechanics Division, and I got second place throughout the entire division," Schrock responded.
The high school freshman has turned half of his bedroom into a workshop, where he dreams up and work out the kinks for all his creations.
"I plan on making multiple different inventions and products to help relieve the labor necessary for farmers, like our family farm."
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