This year, I had the opportunity to be one of several mentors for the Frazier Mountain High School US FIRST Robotics Competition. The photo above was taken in the stands of the Los Angeles Sports Arena where we competed in April, 2002. (I'm in the last row on the right-hand side.) Behind us, on the arena floor, is the competition field.
We competed in the Southern California Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
The robotics competition actually began several months ago with a "Kick off" event - a live telecast which we attended at NASA/JPL. During this event, we were shown this year's robot challenge - a game called "Zone Zeal." After the Kick off, the kids were allowed just 6 weeks allowed to design, engineer, build, debug, practice, and ship the robot to the competition. During this time, I worked along with other mentors on our team to help the students accomplish the numerous tasks that were needed to complete our robot.
Not only did we accomplish our goal of helping the students to prepare for and complete the event, they finished in the top third of the event. The final ranking for our Team (981) was 17th out of 60 teams.
More important however, were the lessons which the students learned over the past several months including teamwork, communications skills, project planning, action management, prototyping, mechanical design and robot construction.
It has been a great deal of fun. It has also been quite challenging with only 6 weeks allowed for all of this to happen. I have seen a lot of growth in the kids we mentored. It is my hope that this experience will have a positive and lasting impact on their lives as they continue their education and become the problem solvers of the future.
Click here to explore the ICA Robotics Scrapbook (coming soon)