From the description: “Made: Brainiac:” This episode will feature
Stephanie who wants to shed her party girl image in hopes of getting
people to take her seriously. Stephanie feels that by joining her
school’s engineering club she can become one of the smartest girls in
school. She wants to prove to her family, classmates and most
importantly herself that she has intelligence and perseverance."
I just watched the episode. It was not bad. My team participated in the competition. It was a fun game and proved to be a lot harder than it appeared. Congrats to Stephanie, Travis and the rest of the Harriton Engineering team for putting engineering and robotics in such a positive light.
Here is link to watch the episode online.
I was able to get through the majority of the show I believe. I have a feeling the valley girl image was overplayed, but I am impressed with her willingness to miss practice and games of her sport to go to a general engineering club meeting. I love how this gets FIRST, robotics, and engineering into the eyes of the group of kids that need to see it most. I believe it did send a strong message that science, engineering, and robotics can be fun even to the “pretty, popular, and partier” extreme of high school society. I’m not entirely sure it captured the proper feel of a FIRST competition; they emphasized the stressfulness of competition and none of the cooperation among teams, or acceptance of people from all walks of life that I believe is somewhat unique in an organization. Great job to Rob for a very worthwhile project of mentoring a student and helping her break the stereotype.
All and all, excellent show, this can’t do anything but help.
The episode was filmed at Harriton HS, which is LMHS’ (my school’s) sister school in the Lower Merion School District. At Harriton, Technology Teacher (and coach of two FTC teams) Travis Lehman worked very hard putting together the challenge, rules, and recuiting area teams to play. Other FTC/Vex folks in the area stepped up to help as well. While I have never met Stephanie, I would like to thank her for the willingness to try and make some sacrifices. In all I think it was a positive experience for all and I’m glad MTV was willing to give the story/topic a go. Did the network portray everything the way we’d like to see it? No. However, in the move toward engaging more of the popular culture, this is a step in the right direction. Just putting robotics on a level playing field with a varsity sport on MTV is a big deal as far as I’m concerned.
I just walked into the house and my brother had it on MTV and I saw a guy in a black polo with a FIRST logo. Seconds later I saw VEX bots. I am known as an MTV Nazi many times. I passionately hate everything that Viacom stands for and promotes, but for once I did not unplug the television but rather watched to the end and enjoyed it. This is the first time I’ve ever seen MTV in years and thats due to my brother watching it and me randomly walking in. Although I still passionately hate Viacom, MTV, and anything else associated with the two, I can at least appreciate what they have done by airing this.
I know this is delayed, but after watching this episode for a first time, I was glad to see that they showed how much dedication and effort it takes to be a part of any FIRST team.
It’s just really great to have people show that being on a robotics team is just as time consuming as any other team and requires teamwork, brainstorming, and getting over obstacles (i.e. their Vexbot not being able to grip the bottles and the team members started to feel the pressure backstage.).
My team actually watched the MTV made episode just yesterday. We projected the episode onto a projection screen. We were laughing and smiling throughout the whole episode! We loved it!! FIRST is definitely a GRAND PLAGUE!! :yikes:
My name is Rob Masek I was the coach on this episode. Steph put in more effort then you see on tv. She made the majority of the robot as well as being the driving force that got the team to completion. What they didn’t show you on tv was all of the time we spent focusing on women in engineering or science. She changed as a person during filming and is better for it, we still talk every now and again, she has gotten into college and is doing great.
Thanks for checking out the episode, with any luck, my next on screen project will have more depth in the finished product.