Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Many Facets of Geekdom

In the sidebar you may have noticed a long list of labels, with names like Chicas and El Rancho... those are a way for me to bring some order to 7+ years of Chickenblog posts. Click on the link and you get oodles and oodles of posts about my Chicas, or our lives as Jolly Green Ranchers. One of the labels is Geek, which I figured would cover all the areas of our lives where we get Geeky... Legoland, SIGGRAPH, Comic-Con, Robotics...

Hold on... we really get geeky a lot, and in many ways. I think we are going to require a Geek subheading or two. Yes. One for Comic-Con and another for Lego business, and now, one exclusively for FIRST and robotics. Obviously the beams will cross occasionally, but I think we have enough robotic material and future robotic plans to make this category worthy of its own Chickenblog label.

January 9, 2010. Launch.

So. Last year Alex was a visiting student, who joined the high school robotics team, which is part of FIRST :: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It was obvious from the start that we had found a special program and an awesome team. And by the end of the build season our whole family was on board.

This year we actually know what's going on. Or at least we know more than we did this time last year. It's hard to contain our excitement about this build season... the next six weeks of intense-full time robot design, building and team building.

There are a lot of new team members, and this year the team is helping bring a new team up to speed... yes, we share tips, advice, support and spirit with other teams... it's all a part of the program. "Gracious Professionalism" might sound like just a "nice" idea, but in FIRST and with this team, Gracious Professionalism is a working-living-competing attitude in the arena and out. The notion of "good sportsmanship" could learn some things from robotics' Gracious Professionalism.

Yesterday the new season launched, which means teams around the world tuned in to the live NASA feed for a first peek at this year's robotics competition arena, rules and theme or game. It marks the very beginning of everything that will lead to competitions, when the team brings a completed robot to a regional event to play. With videos to watch and thick, heavy manuals to read, the team spent the entire day learning, planning and preparing for what lies ahead. It's just the beginning.

I won't be posting specific details about our team, because I am not an official media-representative, with permission to share personal photos or names... but the specifics aren't even necessary. All the teams matter. All the teams represent dedication, hard work, brain power, and the spirit of robotics. It's a Geek thing.


nikkipolani said...

What a great way to encourage kids to learn -- all kinds of things from team work to engineering and problem solving. Love the fez effect, too :-)

Susan said...

Hey! Geeks are the thinkers and scientists and writers of the world! I love Geeks!

That sounds like a great program and really fun! It would be waaaay over my head as science is definitely not my thing, but my husband and grandsons would love it!