Digital TV - Promoting Science

Posted by Mark Pierce at 1/27/2001 5:19 PM EST

Other on team #288, RoboDAWGS, from Grandville High School and X-Rite, Delphi, and others.

I attended a Science festival (2001 Science Odyssey) today at Grand Valley State University hear in West Michigan and came away with a few FIRST related thoughts:

One of the demonstrations there was a High definition TV demo put on by PBS station WGVU-TV. They were playing a tape of football (what else) on a 42 inch flat panel wide screen. At a Science Festival! I asked Chuck Furman of WGVU why he didn’t have a robotics competition or techonology show on. He said that’s all he had at this time. I asked if he’d be getting footage at the upcoming regional. Another excuse this time, no camera (apparently they’re kind of rare). Anyway, there has to be someone, somewhere in the first universe who can find a way of getting some wide screen or digital footage of this year’s competition so this doesn’t continue. Any ideas?

Another topic: One of the main speakers at the show was Congressman Vernon Ehlers, the only research physicist ever elected to Congress. His talk mirrored much of Dean and Woodie’s talks from the kickoff. He has introduced legislation called the National Science Education Acts of 2001 that should be studied and encouraged by anyone interested in science and technology. Anyway, I got to thinking: If the new President appears to be pushing education improvement, wouldn’t a visit to watch a regional or national FIRST competition show he means it? The press seems to follow his every move, so they’d have to cover it. Dean receiving the Technology medal and the yearly recognition of FIRST winners is nice, but the a demonstration of actual interest in FIRST by the President would show what’s really important to this country and set a great example to others.

Posted by Fran at 1/27/2001 9:34 PM EST

Other on team #166, Team Merrimack, from Merrimack High School and Texas Instruments/R.S. Machines.

In Reply to: Digital TV - Promoting Science
Posted by Mark Pierce on 1/27/2001 5:19 PM EST:

There is even a Presidential connection to Dean…last December Dean hosted a visit at FIRST Place for George W Bush as a candidate and he was very interested in the work that was being done soooo you never know what kind of followup could come out of it.

Fran
T166

: I attended a Science festival (2001 Science Odyssey) today at Grand Valley State University hear in West Michigan and came away with a few FIRST related thoughts:

: One of the demonstrations there was a High definition TV demo put on by PBS station WGVU-TV. They were playing a tape of football (what else) on a 42 inch flat panel wide screen. At a Science Festival! I asked Chuck Furman of WGVU why he didn’t have a robotics competition or techonology show on. He said that’s all he had at this time. I asked if he’d be getting footage at the upcoming regional. Another excuse this time, no camera (apparently they’re kind of rare). Anyway, there has to be someone, somewhere in the first universe who can find a way of getting some wide screen or digital footage of this year’s competition so this doesn’t continue. Any ideas?

: Another topic: One of the main speakers at the show was Congressman Vernon Ehlers, the only research physicist ever elected to Congress. His talk mirrored much of Dean and Woodie’s talks from the kickoff. He has introduced legislation called the National Science Education Acts of 2001 that should be studied and encouraged by anyone interested in science and technology. Anyway, I got to thinking: If the new President appears to be pushing education improvement, wouldn’t a visit to watch a regional or national FIRST competition show he means it? The press seems to follow his every move, so they’d have to cover it. Dean receiving the Technology medal and the yearly recognition of FIRST winners is nice, but the a demonstration of actual interest in FIRST by the President would show what’s really important to this country and set a great example to others.

Posted by Al Skierkiewicz at 1/28/2001 10:17 AM EST

Other on team #111, Wildstang, from Wheeling High & Rolling Meadows High and Motorola.

In Reply to: Digital TV - Promoting Science
Posted by Mark Pierce on 1/27/2001 5:19 PM EST:

Mark,
You are right on several accounts. The equipment for DTV production or even better HDTV is rare and expensive at the moment. We should concentrate on getting any coverage we can. WTTW (producer of the recent Wildstang story) is planning a DTV production in Feb. in which we have to put together a temporary control facility and use cameras borrowed from a manufacturer to make the show happen. We currently have no digital transmitter (as most PBS stations are not reguired to have yet.) and very few people in our audience have receivers.
We would like to see more coverage of FIRST events, and perhaps even the finals at Motorola Midwest Regional, Northwestern Univ. but have no commitments as of yet. With your help we may be able to convince management that there is a huge audience out there. If you have seen the video please write to WTTW ([email protected]) and let them know. Theoretically, folks in western Mich, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin see WTTW on their cable systems. Rebroadcast is Sunday 1/28/01 at 6:30 PM CST for anyone interested.
Good luck to all and see you soon.
Al
Wildstang Parent and Electrical Team
WTTW Engineer

Posted by Brett at 1/28/2001 10:07 PM EST

Student on team #201 from Rochester High School.

In Reply to: Digital TV - Promoting Science
Posted by Mark Pierce on 1/27/2001 5:19 PM EST:

I’m pretty sure Bush is going to be at Nats, or at least he said he would. It’s mentioned in ‘Breakout Artist’, an article published long long ago in a galaxy far far away known as Wired Magazine :slight_smile:

-B

P.S. It’s mentioned on the fourth page of the article (link below)