Championship Winners on CNN Live!

Two students from 294, 67, and 177 were selected to be interviewed live on CNN Saturday night after the championship, along with the winning robots (:D).

Although very difficult to arrange, this was a very cool experience for all involved. Thanks Jenna for setting this up!


Somebody told me you guys were on the news. Thanks for posting the video. Great job.:smiley:

This is great! Thanks for sharing this.

The kids explained things very well.

The interviewer’s question on “getting dates” was rather inappropriate though. He obviously doesn’t get it. :frowning:

Wow… that was pretty condescending, but I’m glad your teams handled it well.

That interviewer should watch this over and see how ridiculous he sounds.

I know Jenna had an interesting time getting your robots uncrated for this interview but I think it was probably an awesome experience for the team’s to be interviewed next to their awesome 'bots! Congrats!

Yes, it was definitely an interesting series of events.

Here is a rough timeline:

  • Final match ended around 6:45pm.

  • On field celebration ends around 7:45pm. During the celebration, we were notified and arrangements were made for students and robots. Students were supposed to be on around 10pm.

-Returned to pits for teardown. 294 was arranging with the shipping company how to get the robots back in the crate after the interview. Someone decided no robots were needed. So, all three robots were crated up.

  • Students arrived at the CNN food court around 9pm.

  • Decision from CNN that robots will be needed for spot around 9:30pm, for a 10pm spot :eek:

  • 67, 294, 177 rush to pits to un-crate robots (some of us at a flat sprint!). 67 arranges for van to transport 294 and 67 robots to CNN center. Robots are turned sideways and stuffed into the seats of a 12 passenger van. 294 re-assembles their crate and carts 177’s robot to CNN center.

  • Robots arrive around 10pm. 294’s robot is stacked on top of 67’s. Robots are pushed into the CNN center, up one elevator, over and up another, through the CNN offices, and into the studio.

  • Students and robots on the air around 10:30pm.

  • Process reversed, robots stuffed in van and carted back to pits, crated up, and out of the pits around 11-11:30pm.

I thought we had awesome teamwork on the field, but the teamwork between 67, 294, and 177 to make this happen with the robots on camera was incredible.

It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I am just glad we had the opportunity.

Yea we were getting worried that you wouldn’t make it back with the robots in time. But just before it was time to go on the air, you guys showed up. We all got a good laugh when we saw 294’s bot on top of ours.

CNN was a lot of fun, and a big thanks for running all the way back to the pits to get the bots.

Preparing for this interview was way more intense then preparing for Einstein!

At 9pm all the robots were packed up in the crate and the timeline was so tight that I sent my entire team to the pits to be ready to uncrate not knowing if we truely needed the robots. ~9:15 the 6 students went up to the studio to get ready while Jesse (177), Adam (67), Jenna (PR rep) sprinted back to the pits and caught up with my team.

We uncrated our robot in about 3 minutes and handed tools over to 67 to uncrate theirs. We pulled out our cart and reassembled it in record time. By then 67 was out and we stack them ontop of our robot and wheeled them to the front of the building where 67’s van was waiting for them. We stuffed them into the back seat while my team helped pull out 177. We ran back in with our cart and placed 177 ontop and started pushing the robot to the CNN center (and you thought the Georgia Dome was a long walk…).

All three robots arrived at the entrance right around the same time (~9:45). We initially planned to push our bot and 67 in individually, but quickly realized we could stack them and put 67 ontop of ours. Unfortunately, we were still in low gear, (appearantly we were doing a bit of pushing…:wink: ) and switched them up. We made our way in to the CNN center to applause from the teams remaining.

After a quick security check Jesse, Adam, Jenna and myself made our way up stairs and pushed the bots right into the studio. We had just enough time to catch our breathes and CNN went on air.

It was nuts! Well worth it!

O yeah…then we had to do it all in reverse to get the robots back in the crate. We finally left the pits around midnight! What a day!

wow… really??? this makes us sound like we’re the stereotypical nerds of the 50’s. What is he trying to get across with this?

But it was nice overall that they got the champions on CNN. This will make more people aware of FIRST. congratulations to them!

I was annoyed with the interviewer but at least FIRST got on (the most popular?) a popular news network even if it was 22:30 EST (not exactly a time when I watch TV.) Maybe 2010 is is a new decade and a new year for FIRST to be recognized. It helps with the spectator friendly Breakaway having a simple scoring system and robots being easily recognized for the alliance they are on with bumper colors.

Personally, I believe that the interview is a pretty revealing demonstration of typical views of FIRST.

Now I am not saying the stereotypes are true, but I think FIRST is missing a huge opportunity by emphasizing engineering.

In the interview, the interviewer is the perfect example of an outsider looking in, and what FIRST has a hard time doing is articulating the potential FIRST has to non-engineers.

This is only my opinion but I believe the business and entrepreneurship lessons taught by FIRST should have an equal impact to the engineering side. Most teams can boast an operating budget of over $10,000 and many teams boast one many times that.

If FIRST competitions had a 50/50 split between Engineering and Entrepreneurship I believe that it would be taken much more seriously by the non-engineering community.

I liken FIRST to the birthday where my dad bought me a Harry Potter book, and I thought to myself “what the hell is this?” later to find out I loved the series.

Imagine if this interview was half about engineering and half about entrepreneurship. Imagine if your team was half engineers, half future business leaders of <insert country>. A huge part of engineering is being able to pitch a concept to non technical investors. I was shocked when I returned home and heard that my school now had a FBLA group, but that it was completely unrelated to the FIRST group. But upon further reflection I realized that FIRST does not really have a strong value proposition for non-engineers.

I think the organization has the potential to be taken much more seriously if there was more emphasis on business. And who knows, maybe if teams at competition were given a marketing or fundraising task, there could be cash prizes for winning teams. Imagine seeing teams at competition being handed a huge check like in many other competitions.

Again, these are only my opinions, but if you look at FIRST’s growth its actually linear, growing at about 120 teams a year. This means that FIRST’s growth rate is actually declining. In order to maintain its growth rate, FIRST or child program of FIRST needs to change its value proposition to non-engineers.

The Interviewer was Don Lemon. He is honestly one of the coolest anchors working for CNN.

He also tweeted about the robots. funny guy