Hi, my name is Jonas van Polen, I am 16 years old and I am in 5 VWO at Pallas Athene College in Ede. It is my big dream to join School at Sea in 2022/2023.
A dream with a price tag that I need to raise through sponsorship. To give sponsors an idea about me, I made this extensive page. The idea is that, as a reward for sponsoring, I will make drone films for business sponsors, but we can also see what other ways I can be of service.
Suppose Lego wants to sponsor me when I make tutorials for Lego Mindstorms, then of course I won't say no to that. Or maybe 999 Games would like to sponsor me when I test some games for them... I hope that entrepreneurs will look at my hobbies through these glasses and please let me know if I can do something for you.
Building with Lego has been my biggest hobby for about 12 years. From Duplo via 'regular' Lego to Lego Technic with which I now mainly build.
In 2015 I became the Dutch Champion Lego Builder (see video) and won a trip for four to Legoland in Billund. That was really great!
I am not someone who builds something and then never touches it again. The nice thing about Lego is that you can build something different every time. In recent years, I have tried to use as much technology as possible in my building work. So I build a lot of real working guns (my mother doesn't like that 😉 but also puzzle boxes where you can open a hatch with something in it. So turning blocks, finding secret pins to use again etc. The more gears and transmissions the better. I also like making vending machines. A mini candy dispenser for example. Which of course I then have to test a lot with M&Ms or tictacs.
I sold the train I had won (see film) and was able to buy my first Lego Mindstorms robot. Then a whole new world opened up for me.
The robot consists of a block that you can connect to the computer where you programme the robot. When you have finished programming, you can disconnect it and let the programme be executed. You can connect all kinds of sensors to the block, such as a colour sensor, a distance sensor, a gyro sensor and even a thermo sensor. I have read that they make test setups with it at the university. It is not really a toy any more.
The first thing I built was a rubikscube solver. Shuffle the cube, put it in the robot and it solves it by itself. This was followed by an M&M colour sorting machine, Skylander switch carousel and lots of robots.
From the moment I bought my second Mindstorms set I also built many battle robots. With a secret function on mine, so that my opponent was suddenly finished...of course the other robot didn't have this function 😉 .
ACTING AND PRESENTING
From the age of four, I started doing small roles in commercials. Especially the Pickwick one aired a lot and I don't even like tea.
Because directors noticed that I could remember texts and directions well, I was asked via via via to gain a lot of experience. After a guest role in a play, I decided to do more with this hobby and went to Guus' Theaterschool, where I now rehearse twice a week. The nice thing about acting is that you work with a team towards a beautiful end result.
Besides acting in commercials and series, I discovered that I also enjoy presenting. It started with a presentation job for Disney XD and later assignments followed for Jantje Beton and the Maartenskliniek, among others. Learning texts doesn't cost me much effort and that comes in handy.
CHESS WITH THE ELDERLY
In the early 2020s, when Corona was causing many elderly people to be more or less confined, I started to play chess with the elderly. Every Tuesday afternoon I now play chess with a man of almost 90.
This way, I want to do my bit for society. I didn't know anything about care homes and by doing this I see what is going on there and it really touches me sometimes when I see what life is like there.
It is a small effort for me and it is always very pleasant and challenging, because I do not always win. Meanwhile, I have become the highlight of the week for my chess partner and that feels good.
I don't hate playing outside, but most of the things I like to do are indoors. To get me outside for some much-needed vitamin D, my parents have come up with something clever - drone flying.
And I thought that was a fantastic idea. Technology, filming and in the open air. After a lot of research, we chose the 'DJI Mavic Air 2', a small manoeuvrable drone that takes fantastic shots.
We stick to the rules, so we have done a drone training course which allows me to fly certified. I am practising hard so that I can make the most beautiful drone images for my sponsors. I hope to be able to take the drone on board as well. Imagine images of the Thalassa all by herself on the Atlantic Ocean, that would be really cool!
Mountain biking is also something that I enjoy doing, and I often go mountain biking in the woods around the corner. I prefer to do that with my father.
Although I like cycling in the forest, I really like mountain biking in the mountains. I have done that a few times together with my father. A couple of times in Germany and once in Northern Italy. That was really great! We went there because I had just finished primary school. That was a long time ago now.
We then went up with the ski lifts, the mountain bikes were hung on the back and then we snuck down. Wonderful!
Playing board games is one of my favourite pastimes. Sitting down together always creates a nice atmosphere.
My favourite game is Settlers of Catan. This is a game where you can build villages by trading and thus expand your colonies. The nice thing about this particular game is that you can always do something, even when it is not your turn. Another reason I like this game is that it lasts a long time and you can win with different strategies, which makes the game play different every time.
A disadvantage of this game is that you have to play it with at least 3 people. My parents also used to love this game but they could never play it. So they taught it to me when I was 7. Of course, I never won, I hardly understood the game, but they could play. Nowadays, we mostly play with add-ons.
GUUS THEATRE SCHOOL
Acting is really my thing, especially if you can do it with a whole group and work towards a beautiful end result together every week.
Last year, I was rehearsing for two musicals. We were almost done rehearsing and still working on the last details when the Corona fiasco started. A year has gone by and we still haven't been able to perform.
One of the musicals I'm doing is called 'The Rose King' and is about... no, if you want to know, just come and watch. With the other group I'm doing the musical Thor, but in a modern way. Every musical is new because Guus (the director) writes them all himself, as well as the music. He is extremely talented! If you want to know more about Guus Theaterschool you can click on the link below to go to the site.
Another thing I like to do is read. What I like about it is that you travel to other places or worlds, and then you go on an adventure (just like with School at Sea 😉 .
I prefer to read fantasy books such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Saga of the War of the Great Rift. My favourite writers are: Tolkien, Raymond e Feist and Terry Goodkind.
I used to be a big fan of the books of Roald Dahl and the books of Dummie the Mummie, written by Tosca Menten. Every year Tosca Menten chooses 10 children to be her ambassadors for a year and in 2017 I was one of her ambassadors. An unforgettable experience and I got many other children enthusiastic about her books as well. Because my parents are not fans of screens (iPhone/iPad etc.) we always listen to audio books in the car. Even now, we still enjoy listening to Dummie the Mummy, narrated by Tosca herself.
Playing the piano is a hobby that I pursue at times. I have had piano lessons for two years, but I find it much more fun to puzzle out for myself how a piece that I hear goes.
My preference is for film music. My favourite films are Pirates of the Caribbean and the whole Lord of the Rings series. And they all have the most beautiful music.
At the moment, I'm practising hard on the song from my favourite series, The Big Bang Theory (about 4 uber nerds). It's a very fast song and the nice thing about playing the piano is that if you practise a little every day, you'll succeed.