Saturday, March 11, 2006

FIRST Veterans Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ Day 3

Saturday March 11 2006. Veterans Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ

The kids won the top award: The Arizona Regional Chairman’s Award. We are all so excited. Winning one top award could be luck, but the kids have been earning top awrds for the last three years. They are not a fluke. They are the “real deal”.

This is the description of the Chariman’s Award:

The Chairman’s Award was created to keep the central focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition as our ultimate goal for transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encourage more of today’s youth to become scientists, engineers, and technologists.

The Chairman’s Award represents the spirit of FIRST. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and which embodies the goals and purpose of FIRST. It remains the most prestigious team award FIRST presents.

FIRST will present a Regional Chairman’s Award at each regional competition. There are thirty-three (33) regional competitions scheduled for the 2006 season, therefore, there will be thirty-three Regional Chairman’s Award winners. Only the winners of the Regional Chairman’s Award will be eligible for consideration in the selection of The Chairman’s Award presented at The Championship.”

The kids have really worked hard all year and they were absolute hyper-happy to be honored.

We celebrated with our buddies from Mexico and our new friends from Chinle and Sierra Vista. Afterwards we took the kids out for pizza. It’s so much fun to see the reaction and pride in the new team members. It’s all so much bigger than they ever imagined!

Our robot wound up ranked 26th out of the 45 teams. We lost the last two competitions in the morning. We would have won the last match but because of a simple mental error we forgot to reconnect two wires that enabled our robot to fire the balls we carried, a potential 21 points. We lost the match by one point. Once again we learn the team that beats us the most is us.

Robot Karen was packed in her crate and we will see her in Atlanta for the championship April 27-29. We have our sights on the National Chairman’s Award. We made some adjustments to the robot before we tucked her in crate and we hope we worked all the bugs out.

The kids are now on a one week spring break. Fredi and I fly to FermiLabs in Illinois to speak to people who we really admire, but tonight, we sleep.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

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