Friday, May 20, 2016

FIRST Robotic Competition

Although we have an occasional day-trip, or might try a new restaurant now and then -- the actual BEAUTY of the TMBC is that it is most always at the same time, at the same place....week after wonderful week. Nobody has to clean their house, or cook, or try to remember when or where or what time we're meeting this week. Same time, same place.

It's a wonderful habit that you don't have to think about...hummm...I am reminded of an old Chinese proverb...something about the benefit of good habits...(it'll come to me.  Later.  Maybe.)

We take turns doing our weekly "download"....and, of course, nowadays -- we compare and share our Splendid Sampler blocks...

BUT -- Several weeks ago, we had a special treat...and an up-close-and-personal report on an incredible international event.  Linda P. gave us an exciting blow-by-blow report of the INTERNATIONAL FIRST Robotics Competition which she'd attended in St. Louis, Mo.

LINDA'S GRANDSON WAS ON THE WINNING TEAM....!! Congratulations to the Tremont Roboteers!!
HAVE you ever seen a bigger smile?? Yes, she's wearing a t-shirt, a nametag, AND a boa...
The program itself was a very impressive thing.
This is an incredible, world-class event, which has been taking place all over the country.  FOR DECADES.  WHO KNEW??   In 2016, it involved 3,000+ teams from all over the world, and 78,000 students. For the last year, these teams have been building robots designed to conquer certain specific challenges...and they had regional competitions...and finally came together for this International Championship event. The robots were in a ring, overcoming obstacles shooting balls (stones?), and climbing towers -- and the videos made it look like cage-fighting for machines.

There are many large Corporate sponsors, because obviously, building these sophisticated robots is very expensive.But the program is designed so that each team works with local engineers, who are their mentors.
Participating in the FIRST Robotic Competition is a huge commitment for the students and their families...but the benefits can be HUGE.
From the FIRST website:  Many colleges, universities, professional associations, and corporations acknowledge that the FIRST experience is often the spark that lights the flame of life-long learning and that participating students are more likely to acquire a passion for learning and a drive to succeed. Scholarship providers have come to value the advantages that FIRST provides to students in the areas of advanced knowledge and understanding, technical skills, and self-confidence, coupled with life and work-related skill development, and offer college scholarships exclusively to these students. 

 Currently, there are over 180 schools and organizations across the country offering over 1200 undergraduate scholarship opportunities, totaling over $20 million in scholarship funding available for current or former FIRST participants.
This proud Grandma brought her I-Pad so we could watch the video of the winning match.
I followed the Tremont Roboteers on Facebook (good job, Whitney) -- and here is a link to a story their local newspaper wrote about the team. This organization does a wonderful job of promoting science and technology.
OF COURSE, even during this very busy week of international robot competition and out-of-town travel, our over-achieving LP still managed to complete TWO NEW BLOCKS...!!

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