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Lego FIRST competition Answered

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?

Discussions

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wolf555hound

9 years ago

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

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caitlinsdadwolf555hound

Reply 9 years ago

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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wolf555houndcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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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caitlinsdadwolf555hound

Reply 9 years ago

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

9 years ago

I am jealous of your daughter.

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caitlinsdadDoctor What

Reply 9 years ago

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 Whatcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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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caitlinsdadDoctor What

Reply 9 years ago

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 Whatcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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 Whatcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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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caitlinsdadstarwing123

Reply 9 years ago

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

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mg0930mgcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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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starwing123mg0930mg

Reply 9 years ago

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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mg0930mgstarwing123

Reply 9 years ago

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

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caitlinsdadstarwing123

Reply 9 years ago

...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

9 years ago

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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caitlinsdadGoodhart

Reply 9 years ago

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

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Goodhartcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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

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Kiteman

9 years ago

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

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kelseymhKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

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

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KentsOkay

9 years ago

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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caitlinsdadKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

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

9 years ago

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

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GorillazMiko

9 years ago

I bet that's you. 2nd picture.

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caitlinsdadGorillazMiko

Reply 9 years ago

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

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skunkbaitcaitlinsdad

Reply 9 years ago

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