Monday, May 02, 2011

FIRST Celebrities!!

ce•leb•ri•ty noun
1. :the state of being celebrated
2. :a famous or celebrated person.

We are home from St Louis and the FIRST Championship. The rumor was there were going to be a lot of celebrities at this year's Championship... there to make FIRST a loud and cool FIRST.

Well, seeing as how this is Maria's eighth FRC event, including her second visit to Championships, it seemed like a fitting assignment for this Mini-Paradox to go out into the four day event, and do some celebrity scouting. She has always found plenty of admirable, exciting, smart, and passionate people at these FIRST competitions... and she was totally game to put her colors on and see what was in store for FIRST Championships, St Louis 2011!

And here is just some of what Maria found...

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox was invited to Championships when at the San Diego Regional Competition they earned the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award. This highly regarded award "... celebrates a team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school as well as their community." Mentoring FIRST LEGO League Teams, fellow FRC teams in our district and in Mexico, and building a science, technology, and math loving parade robot, are just some of the things FIRST 2102 has done recently to inspire new students and the community to become passionate about engineering.

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox strongly supports the girls on the team staying involved in any aspect of team business they feel passionate about... so, whether it's in the metal shop, at the computers, behind the cameras, on the drive team, or with a clipboard... Victoria and Maria know everyone is valued and capable of contributing to team success.

Cheers for our girl celebrities!

Cheers for our boy celebrities!

In marketing, in build, designing, taking notes, scouting, programming... the work really never ends, and the passion is always there, and that's what it takes to get a team and robots to the Championships, and to keep playing matches, and getting better... it takes diligence and dedication.

Seeing that Victoria had the team pit under control, and that Terence and CLU, the robots, were in good hands, Maria went to the Curie field to do some scouting. Here she is with Olivia, and a mentor from FIRST 1717, D'Penguineers. They are watching matches to see what strengths each team and alliance has, and what strategies can help in future matches. There were matches Thursday, Friday, and Saturday... each of the four divisions had about eighty-eight teams, so there was always scouting to be done.

If it seems as though the teams in FIRST have hardly paused since Kick-Off, then you are beginning to understand the intensity and duration of their commitment. No one on 2102 Team Paradox is coming to FRC to merely talk about science, or to be awestruck by bright lights and party favors. The joy, the fun, the passion... it is instilled, it is hard won, and it has nothing to do with being in a spotlight, or conforming to mass media-pop culture cool. It's the real cool.

We cheer for our Team Numbers.
We cheer for our drive team.
We cheer for the robots.
We cheer for the Blue Alliance, the Red Alliance, the underdogs, the champions, the rookies, the programmers, the designers, the guy that repaired the bumpers, the girl that milled the chassis, the teachers that came to watch, the mentors who stayed to share... we cheer for the passionate players who do this because they love robotics, science, technology, engineering, math, art, and power tools.

In a child's eyes the heroes and celebrities are the people in their lives who lead by example... those people earn a child's trust, those people shine like superstars. Maria finds superstars in 2102 Team Paradox. And I could not be happier that the people Maria looks up to and celebrates are dedicated, smart, and generous people. Our mentors, parents, teachers, and volunteers give their time and passion to support students who want to excel, want to do better, try again... students who want to discover their potential.

Like at any other FRC event, like any day in the metal shop, working at the Street Faire, or when spreading a message of community outreach and charity... FIRST 2102 Team Paradox is there for the pleasure of the challenge, for the opportunity to share ideas with people, to actually do something that makes the world better. Making the world better, maybe one robot chassis at a time, it gives a guy a gratified feeling, a reason to smile.

Amir has reason to smile, and a passion for education, for science, technology, and math. Very Cool indeed.

An author! Writers do make Cool celebrities. Neal Bascomb is the author of The New Cool, the book a dear Chickenblog reader won in our giveaway! I would be happy to pass along another copy... seriously, if my own tales of robo-mania and FIRST passion have not made it clear enough, then Neal Bascomb's book will definitely give you a thorough understanding of what it takes for teams to go through an FRC season... in nail biting-tension building detail. Okay, so if you don't have time... you can always see the movie.

So, how many celebrities have we seen so far?  Hundreds, maybe thousands.  Students, teachers, mentors, an author, volunteers...  And Maria was nearly tireless in her interest and passion to see and meet as many people, robots, mascots,  and robo-math-science fans as possible.  So we covered a lot of ground over four days... visiting all kinds of amazing celebrities.

Celebrities like this bright young man from FIRST 2826 Wave Robotics. We played together on the Curie field, and cheered together in the stands. Anyone in the Oshkosh area should seriously consider paying this Wisconsin FRC winning team a visit.

These cheese heads are not from Wisconsin. They are from Virginia, and FIRST 1086 Blue Cheese is sharp, not stinky... they have the Spirited and Inspiring awards to prove it!

Ah, a local celebrity. It's the team president from FIRST 2984 The Vikings, a Team San Diego favorite! Their stats show, they play like rock stars.

Maria has been passing out chocolate Paradox eggs ever since her second San Diego FRC. She enjoys outreach, making new friends, and representing her team, and sharing FIRST passion with other teams like the Girls of Steel, FIRST 3504.

Daisies! We remember FIRST 341 Team Daisy from our very first FRC event, where they came to San Diego all the way from Pennsylvania Gracious, spirited, and very inspiring... they just keep blooming!

Some celebrities are easy to recognize, like the spirited Team San Diego birds we know as FIRST 1266 The Devil Duckies!

As Maria made her way around the America Center and the Dome, she was sometimes a bit of a celebrity, like when these FIRST LEGO League players from Taiwan asked if they could please have their picture taken with the Mini Paradox. Teams love to celebrate each other, exchanging ideas, support, buttons, hugs, smiles. It's heartfelt. It's FIRST.

FIRST wants to Inspire young people to be leaders in Science and Technology around the world, and so do we!

From FIRST 2102 Team Paradox all the way to Colombia and this inspiring FIRST LEGO League Team Mon~Tech~Ssori. ¡Hola amigos!

Egypt! We had a really great time visiting this all girl FIRST LEGO League Team from Egypt! Karama!

Celebrating Island style! Aloha, Hawaiian Kids! FIRST 359 Waialua Robotics are riding a wave of success from the island of Oahu all the way to St Louis, and they show no signs of slowing down! We remember them well, from FRC San Diego in 2010, and from the beautiful Team Spirit Award they graciously gave to us in Las Vegas. Mahalo nui loa, Hawaiian Kids!

Coolness, wherever you look!
Here are the Mustangs... the FIRST 1281 Wild 'Stangs from Ontario, Canada!

Hola, Tec Balam, FIRST 3527! Y felcidades por ser Rookie Inspiration Award ¡ganadores en St Louis! And team spirit? They have team spirit dancing in the street! They are all stars!

Maria! Maria, this is turning into, like, the longest post ever! And there are still so many winners, so many stars, so many rockin' robo moments to celebrate! From the pits...

to the matches...

with friends...

with silly, dear friends...

and family...

because of mentors...

and because of our team spirit... we found countless ways, and countless people, to celebrate!

Our mini-bots, CLU and Rinzler, like shooting stars... racing to their destination, fueled by design and determination, are worthy of celebration!

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox celebrates ingenuity, design, engineering...

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox celebrates families...

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox celebrates the senior members, and the rookie members, and hopes to inspire new members...

Seeing all of these students who love FIRST, who love to learn, and work on challenging problems was a prize in and off itself, and having this final celebration of what has been accomplished was a sweet finish to an amazing season...

... especially when the lights and cameras were focused on the real celebrities of FIRST, our friends, our peers, our mentors, and teachers, our inspirations.

When the work is finally done, when the team has persevered and played like gracious, professional winners... it feels good to celebrate with those friends, peers, mentors, and the people that inspire us.

It is good to see a familiar face in the crowd, one that you can turn to for support, and encouragement, that will be there to build again in 2012!

That's right... we are already thinking of next year!

So many stars!

So very many bright and shiny stars!
And thank you D'Penguineers for taking us in your alliance in San Diego, and for taking this picture in St Louis!

Well, Maria. You certainly did find a lot of cool and amazing FIRST celebrities! Thank you for bringing us this inspiring FIRST 2102 Team Paradox update all the way from Championships in St Louis!


judy in ky said...

Maria is growing up with many wonderful memories and great values!

Anonymous said...

What a great post - Maria is the best ambassador for FIRST. Glad you stopped in to see Miss Daisy.


tara said...

I saw that Simplicity will be carrying Steampunk patterns under their costumes section. I thought of your son. I hope they come out with patterns for the guys. I need to make the tan outfit.

warren said...

She'll be a great astronaut!

Jennifer said...

Fantastic! What an awesome trip, and thanks for sharing so many fabulous celebrity sightings!!!

Tracy said...

HOORAY!! Well done to all...and wonderful for Maria! Oh, this looks like such geek fest I'd love to have been too. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

tea time and roses said...

Hello Natalie,

Had to drop in and see just how you and family were doing.:o) Having a wonderful time I see!! Continue to enjoy a beautiful spring!



Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, we reposted a couple of photos on my family's website my brother maintains,
karen dJ