Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Robotics Tournament

December 11, 2010

Once again, Nicholas competed in the Lego Robotics league this year. This will be his last year in this league; next year they move up to real robots and a much bigger playing field. He competed on a team with a few of his old friends who've worked with him before--Robbie and Ryan--and several new team members who had been a part of another team last year. We were lucky enough to get our friend Dave Locher to be the boys' coach, assisted by Jeff Janzen. As I have said before, getting a housefull of adolescent boys to focus, even for a short while, can be a bit like herding puppies or wrestling alligators. It's an adventure, to be sure, but can be a little fruitless on occasion and even slightly dangerous at times. And yet, these men, Dave and Jeff, signed themselves up for the task.

Oure team was called the Waffle Doctors this year. The challenge focus was Biomedical Technology/Engineering, hence the Doctors. Waffles? Mainly because Ryan likes waffles, and he was an avid advocate of including them in the team name. Random? Yup. But not so unexpected, if you know these boys. See the lab coats we had made for the competition? They even made me, Team Mom, Administrator for the 'interns' and M.D.s. Not bad for organizing snacks, huh?

The 8th grade contingent of the team: Robbie, Ryan, and Nicholas

The boys put a lot of time and effort into the design and programing of their robot. Unfortunately, our playing table didn't exactly cooperate with us, so we didn't fare as well as we had hoped in the actual competition, despite having had a couple of good runs in practice. They weren't too disappointed, though. They knew they had put their best effort in. We also took them out for a tasty team dinner afterwards, so they were pretty happy about that. Teenaged boys with full bellies equals contented kids.

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