Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh. My. Goodness.

Oh my goodness!
I cannot name names or get too specific, but there's a certain team, from a certain western state... and they totally kicked bot!! They were ranked #4 after the seeding matches, and after the "Alliance Choosing" found themselves as the #3 alliance with Arizona Teams **** and ***. Their alliance advanced to the finals and finished in second place. Besides that, they received the Chrysler Team Spirit award AGAIN, so the team was called to the stage twice during the awards ceremony. It was 3 days of intense work, preparation, troubleshooting, cheering, dancing, stomping, sandwich making, face painting, screaming, nail biting, edge of the seat e.x.c.i.t.e.m.e.n.t. The team, and yes, that means all of us, were 100% in the moment for 72 hours, never ceasing in our assertive pursuit of FIRST spirit, drive, Gracious Professionalism and doing the math to save the world. The energy and math, the spirit, took the team all the way to the finals! The results were a perfect and winning finish... enough to make us stand tall, and to come back for more next year.

How about some pictures?

Everyone wears protective eye wear in the pits. The pits are the 10x10 work stations every team has for working on their bots.

Alex earned a spot in the pit, where he was a scout, taking notes for alliance strategy and also a general helper dude.

For weeks the team spent hours in the metal shop, building, welding, milling, designing. Regionals are a 3 day event, but the real effort began January 3rd, and welding is only one of the skills... Spirit and team building for all teams count too.

I think some Arizona teams were a bit confounded by our FIRST spirit. Our team was more than happy to cheer for the sake of science, math, effort... we cheered for FIRST, for the celebration of being in a place where skills and work add up to pride and pleasure. And we cheered for all the teams.

And when we weren't cheering, we were doing the Cha-Cha Slide.

The mc's have spirit too, and the FIRST message, and founder Dean Kamen's vision... "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes" rings true throughout the event.

We are already thinking about next year, even the next club meeting. The challenges and the team members, the whole concept, are awesome.

And the matches themselves are amazing. These students earn our respect and deserve our support. I hope you are inspired to find a FIRST team and see how you can get involved.

Our team and another great SD Team, singled out for their gracious professionalism and spirit, are called to the arena for another dance session.

It's great to feel like a winner, to participate, and support FIRST. Actually winning, being recognized and having a robot that performs Bettercup than ever... AWESOME!

We had so much energy and enthusiasm going in and I think we finished with more than ever.

All of the long nights and postponed plans. All of the calculations and renewed determination... the team effort by students and teachers, parents, mentors, volunteers... all of it is an investment and the returns are priceless.

Regionals, in San Diego and Arizona, were the celebration of work and cooperation, of pursuing worthy goals attained through brain power and sweat equity. The team has been winning all along.

We cheered other teams and our own... We. Are. Proud. Of. You. We. Are. SO. Proud. Of. YOU! It feels so good to be a part of a team that is gracious, intelligent and spirited. Go Robotics! We. Are. Proud. Of. You. We. Are. SO. Proud. Of. YOU!


judy in ky said...

This is so AWESOME!! I happen to be a science and technology fan myself... I think it's great that kids are getting interested in this. Gracious, intelligent and spirited... what could be better! BRAVO to the team!!

Anna Banana said...

Wow, I just saw this post! (The RSS feed buried chickenblog for some reason.) So happy for the team and the mentors and the parents! Love those big smiles!!

Tracy said...

Such fun!! So happy for the team and all who helped...What joy seeing all those happy faces! Wishing you all a great week, Natalie :o) ((HUGS))

mtnchild said...

That is a fantastic group of very HAPPY people!!! Job well done!!! Bravo, bravo, bravo to your family for jumping in whole heartedly.

Just WOW, and congratulations to everyone involved......


Jennifer said...


d.a. said...

Much w00tery and conga-rats! Woo-hoo!!!!

Al Gritzmacher said...

Way to go! A friend pointed me to your post after reading a similar article on my blog.

FIRST Robotics sure is addictive. I've been a mentor for seven years and two different teams. I got started because my son was on the team.

Compared to sports, where maybe half a percent are ever good enough to be a pro, science, engineering and similar skills most students can be successful with just a little guidance. Why not put as much effort and excitement into encouraging that?

Good luck. Maybe we will see you at Nationals some time.

(Mentor Team 1507)

Denise B said...

I have told many people over the past year that Saturday March 21, 2009 was THE FUNNEST day of my entire life - and I have been alive for a very long time. Thank you, Natalie, for letting me relive it by reading your blog.