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Lego FIRST competition Answered

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Well, today I went along with Caitlin's school robotics club to see them participate in qualifying rounds in order to advance to the New York City city-wide champs. Woot, they made it enough in the rankings to advance and fun was had by all. It was my first time at one of these things and it was pretty well organized considering the number of teams shuttling back and forth between rooms to do the robotics challenges/missions and presentations to judges. Kids use Lego Mindstorm NXT robot kits and build/program them to accomplish a list of tasks to be performed in the "pit". Of course, everything can go wrong from your batteries not being charged, pieces falling apart, programs not working, forgetting the laptop charger, and worrying about the school bus making it home before the snow storm. Fourth graders did research projects and presentations on how robotics impacted environmental issues. Fourth and fifth grader teams did the robot challenges and presented their robots to the judges. The FIRST program is really to have fun while using technology, learn something, and to develop teamwork and good sportsmanship. One of our teachers even wrote up a school cheer and song just for Robotics. The second pic is of another school who happened to have a live team mascot(where else can you wear a propeller beanie and be proud?). The amount of geek-strogen present was incredible. This happened to be Tetranitrate's stomping grounds but I didn't find any evidence of charred walls. I might just have to make Robohoodies for all the kids when they compete again in March. Anyone else out there doing Lego FIRST robotic league?

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wolf555hound (author)2009-03-30

FIRST...... dont they do stuff like VexRobotics competitions?

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caitlinsdad (author)wolf555hound2009-03-30

I looked up VexRobotics. It seems they are a "competitor" manufacturer of similar stuff to the LEGOs Mindstorm NXT products. They even have a similar type of competition setup. Vex is probably a startup trying to get in on the lucrative "business" of school robotics and competition. It is a "business". It is not cheap to get started. It is like trying to get to race in the Kentucky Derby or something. A school has to invest in the robot kits, get a new contest kit every year, and the pay the team entrance fees for all the competitions, get transportation and lunch, team shirts... You definitely need the support and backing of volunteer teachers/coaches, staff and parents.

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wolf555hound (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-30

I was jsut saying that Vex has a competition i tihnk by FIRST, and i garuntee my school would never ever go along with this, way to expensive. I do, however, have a kit I bought with my own money when I was like 9. The Radioshack guy was really surprised when he found out it was for me. lol.

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caitlinsdad (author)wolf555hound2009-03-31

I really didn't know who Vex were before you mentioned it. You probably need to have more than a few bake sales before the school can get their hands on a kit.

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Doctor What (author)2009-03-30

I am jealous of your daughter.

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Doctor What (author)Doctor What2009-03-30

If only my school had a robotics club.

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caitlinsdad (author)Doctor What2009-03-30

Do they have club hours scheduled? It really depends on having some dedicated teacher that will be the club advisor or coach to put things together. Maybe you could convince someone who could have meetings during lunch hour and see how it goes.

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Doctor What (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-30

Our school has a large club system. Every other wednesday, during second period, everyone goes to the club of their choice. I chose anime club this year, and last year I was in calculator programming club. It can be fun. But the clubs aren't nearly as diverse as what they sound. All of the teachers have a club that they mentor, and the nearest thing to a robotics club is the technology club. I attended technology club once. My eyes burned from the lack of technology. I've tried to start up a club (or two). I tried to make a club about Dungeons and Dragons, and a club about Videogame Programming. Both failed miserably. They get lost in the system, and teachers who don't have a club refuse to take on a club because they either do not understand the point of them, or they feel they are a waste of time.

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caitlinsdad (author)Doctor What2009-03-30

That's the bureacracy of the school system. You need to prepare your case and plead it up to the highest authority until you get what you want.

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Doctor What (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-30

The school bureacracy wasn't very complicated at all. You made a suggestion or wrote a letter to "Lacy" the teacher in charge, and he tells you that it is a bad idea and to go play somewhere else.

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Doctor What (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-30

But the only way I know how to protest is with a pillowfight. Except instead of pillows, bags filled with nails...

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starwing123 (author)2009-01-27

I have a friend that made it to the world finals.
http://www.landroids.org/

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caitlinsdad (author)starwing1232009-01-27

That's great. We may have to stop by the Liberty Science Center in NJ to check out the exhibition.

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mg0930mg (author)caitlinsdad2009-01-29

I may see you in jersey. :D I would so meet you guys there. I'll wear my shirt... ;) I smell spam...

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starwing123 (author)mg0930mg2009-01-29

Since when did I say it was me? I plane on entering the FRC in high school. I don't like legos that much. I like VEX. Anyway, I do Odyssey of Mind and don't have time for First

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mg0930mg (author)starwing1232009-01-29

Um what. I said nothing to you. I was talking to caitlinsdad.

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caitlinsdad (author)starwing1232009-01-29

...and I was referring to your friend in the landroids team that will put on a display at the science center.

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Goodhart (author)2009-01-29

Cool. And I love it that the judge or ref or whatever is in a striped shirt LOL Let the games begin !

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caitlinsdad (author)Goodhart2009-01-29

Strange, but a bunch of shirtless Footlocker workers seemed to be tied up in the back room...

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Goodhart (author)caitlinsdad2009-01-29

*chuckle* There's your problem right there.... LOL

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Kiteman (author)2009-01-12

The "beany hat" guy has an awful skin complaint...

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2009-01-27

It's called pixelitis dermata. A lot of the people on Cops have it, too.

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KentsOkay (author)2009-01-28

I was going to do it, but no ever got around to it. I know nissanz does it...
wouldn't that just beat all if they randomly met at a match?

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caitlinsdad (author)KentsOkay2009-01-28

I was going to wear my Robot shirt to see if anyone would notice but it was too cold for short sleeves. Maybe next time.

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DJ Radio (author)2009-01-27

Lol, I always wanted to participate in one of those.

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Lithium Rain (author)2009-01-12
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GorillazMiko (author)2009-01-11

I bet that's you. 2nd picture.

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caitlinsdad (author)GorillazMiko2009-01-11

Fail. That was just a random dude having way more fun than the law allows.

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skunkbait (author)caitlinsdad2009-01-11

He looks blissfully dorky! I bet that was loads of fun. Man, I loved Legos as a kid.

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