Why we do what we do (mentor post)

This Saturday was an epic day in my history. I’ve been a VEX mentor from day one in the program and after the “swap to new hardware” I walked away from FIRST to stay with the VEX program. It’s been an rocky road, but last year and this year have paid me back.

On the left coast, at the VEX World Championships:

KTOR: College team that STEMRobotics supports placed 17th and won a judges award (the two leaders of that team won the 2011 Mentor of the Year award, they mentor the Haverford School)

Haverford won their division and the middle school Excellence Award. It’s a young program and to see them pull this off is pretty amazing.

On top of that, Megan Connally, from Haverford, won teacher of the year. Steve and I have worked on her, so hopefully (and yes hope is not a strategy) this will make it easier for her. But this is one of the teams we started.

In NJ our favorite team (677, The Jones) came up on top of their division. So in the FTC world, think of the HoF teams. At events, they come and teach school (kick our butts), we learn. If I have to pick the one thing that makes all of our robots better, it’s 677. We hate them. They are Satan in robot form. They are 1114. 365. 341. They kill. But (like all the FRC HoF teams), they will pick up wrenches and help you excel. So happy to see them win!

At the VEX worlds, VEXMen (my home team) wins the Community, Energy and Amaze awards. 4400 Vex teams and we take 3 huge awards.

On the right coast:

In Abington PA at the annual PSU Firefight contest, we took first and second place in the competition. We also won three design awards. These are roboteers that have worked less than 5 weeks to do a full autonomous firefight program. 11 robots came and all were successful in putting the fire out.

100+ roboteers plus parents in two locations having the experience of a lifetime. People at Worlds are a given, but people at PSU Abington Firefight were new. Signed up two new sponsors and cemented the relationship with the Air Force. (Come play Swept Away in a C5 with us!!). Parents marveling in “other kids do this” !!

125 people psyched on competition robotics. Short of winning Powerball in 5 hours, how can today get any better?

I Believe that Robots Rock! (1511)

Congratulations on a great year! Wish we lived on the other coast (or closer to the one on my side).