Thursday, March 03, 2022

2102 in 2022... It's A Paradox

Caution: You Are Entering a Robot Zone!

It's been a long spell since the last update on FIRST 2102 Team Paradox... I did mention Kick-off, the start of the build season for 2022. There was the last Maker event we jointly attended. Oh, how I miss those. There was the end of season party in 2019, when Maria, was a freshman, and Championships, the same year! And the San Diego FIRST Regional that lead to Houston! Good memories. The 2020 season started off with a lot of promise, team effort, a good Kick-off, and outreach. Unfortunately, things kind of fell apart with the arrival of COVID. It was disappointing, and though the Team made spirited efforts and kept things active and noteworthy in 2021, Maria took the year off. Okay, I know that was a lot of links, and a lot of twists and turns... I won't be hurt if you skim over all of this. We love robots and the young folks that design, manufacture, assemble, and program them, the same young folks that write grants and fundraise, design their look, and manage their social media, outreach, peer-mentoring, and recruiting, and compete, graciously, in FIRST Robotics Competitions. This will be our last season with one of our own on the team, but we will always be ready to cheer for 2102! In pictures and words, this post is for FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, and the start of their 2022 season.

Kick Off, When FIRST Reveals the Game to Teams Around the World!

Simon, with the mic, sharing his group's break down of one section from the rule book. Photograph by George Stimson.
Mentors ready to meet students, check their vaccination cards, and welcome them to 2022 FIRST Kick Off, and Rapid React. I know Ido and Nick F, and in the mentor jumpsuit, Steve D.
Now Maria has the mic. That's almost the whole team, mentors, icluding some alumni, and a few parents, but there were also students online, participating safely, from their homes.
Leanne has three kids on the team! Max, is a senior, Anna and Alex are sophomores. Leanne has been mentoring, and as you can see she has adopted the colorful spirit of Team Paradox.
Simon, Maria, and alumni Nick F. Maria was happy to work with Nick, a mentor and friend she's known since her brother, Alex, was on the team.
I know Nitin, and Karen D. It's not as easy to meet new students. Since COVID, and the frequency of school shootings, guests aren't as easily admitted on campus, and even then, everyone is masking. I really miss the open campus, the BC days.
Hopefully, I can come back in and name a few more of these students, with Maria's help. I recognize Nick F, with the mic, and Simon in his team hoodie, and Maria on the end.
I am pretty sure Kyra has the mic, and I recognize Keene, in the gray hoodie.
Team moms, and mentors, Leslie and Patti. Both are wonderful assests to Team Paradox, and FIRST.
Liam is on the ball.
Team president, Lake, and Tatyana on his left.
George Stimson took this one. I miss having George on campus. He taught physics and history, and he always captured great pictures of the students, in all kinds of activities and events. He built a bridge, keeping parents connected with happenings and student life around school.

One more picture from George... this time with Simon holding up a rough sketch of a proposed robot element.

Kick-off is two days. The game and rules are revealed, and Team Paradox has a finely tuned system of breaking the team into groups, so that the manual and rule book can be read, analyzed, distilled, then shared with the team. From this comes a better understanding of the game, the robot, the limitations, and options, and then a stratgey for both desiging the robot, and playing the game can be developed. This year, only a day before the already complicated event, the team learned they would have to make new accomodations due to rising cases of OMICRON... the president, Lake, had to plan and coordinate for everything to move into two safe indoor spaces, then one, practical space for outdoors. Additionally, Paradox hosted the new teams from Oceanside High School, and an online school, Team 4014.

Team Colors and Tshirt Printing

Keene, president of marketing is discussing modifications for screenprinting of the design, with Maria.
Tatyana measuring, and preparing the board for holding the shirts. A moment for effusive expression: Tatyana and Maria were classmates throughout grade school, and I dearly love this (now) young woman! She was always involved, always gracious... she still is! I just loved her enthusiam for participating in clubs, and extracurriculars, for her sweet smile, and curiosity. It's so lovely to see that she's retained her love of learning, and connecting with opportunities. She is an excellent assest to her team, and the World.

The robotics teams are showing up for science and technology, but team spirit, outreach, and marketing, count, too. They have to stand-out in many ways, and so in 2008-09, the marketing team decided that bright and loud were the team's look, and that's when yellow on top, red on the bottom, and Paradox all over became the standard uniform. The team also chooses a new Tshirt design to screen print and sell, every year. We are delighted to share that Maria's design was chosen this year. It's a Parrot and an Ox... a parrotox... Paradox! She included an element or two that are nods to the Tshirts Alex designed for the team.

Robotics, at this school, is an after school club, and not techincally supported, nor sponsored by the school, and yet... the Team is dependent and indebted to the school, to the many supportive, patient and enthusiastic teachers that mentor and accomodate Paradox.

Bag & Tag and Root Beer Floats

This event marks the final hours when the team can work on their robot before the teams meet in competition at regional events around the world. Team Paradox is continuing the tradition of marking this event with sharing the robot, and sometimes the practice robot, with parents, and family, and by serving up celebratory root beer floats. It's a fun night, with some relief for what's been accomplished in the weeks since Kick-off. And, by the way, the robot was named Viper! Viper looks gorgeous, and starting this weekend the student built robot will be competing in the North Los Angeles regional at Port Hueneme. And to look good, and stand out, the team is going to need those Tshirts!

Back to the Screen Printing Shop!

The Paradox and team number are up front, and the esteemed sponsors are on the back.
Finished shirts, after going through a heat dryer, are folded, boxed.

Tatyana, Leah, Michael, Keene, and Maria

There was a small setback in printing, but things were back on track this week. The marketing students pushed and printed plenty of uniforms for the upcoming regional, and there will be even more printed for the San Diego, and Las Vegas regionals! You can see them in action on Instagram. That's not all for the year. There may be a trip to Houston, if Paradox wins a regional, or is awarded with something like Engineering Inspiration. And then there are outreach events, and other design and build opportunities, student lead classes over summer, and plenty of STEM related possibilities for this spirited, inspired and inspiring team of robot building young folks.

Bird House Notes:
We can't find the vacuum. We've searched every room. I'll keep you posted. If inconsequential and trivial news is any help to you, then please tune in... we have loads of nonsense I could share. February 28, 2022
Uh. Found it. Under a hat five inches away from where I am sitting. I don't want to talk about it. February 28, 2022