Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dublin FIRST Wins Gold

Over the weekend, robotics team I used to mentor won the Chairman's Award at the FIRST regional in Pittsburgh. This is the largest honor FIRST bestows to any team (at a regional). Last year they won the Engineering Inspiration award, which is the second highest award. The year before that (their first year) they won the Rookie All-Star Award. The Engineering Inspiration as well as the Chairman's Award both are tickets to nationals, but the Chairman's Award also gets submitted to the national competition to be eligible for the national Chairman's Award, so it's a big deal to win this award.

I was present for the Rookie All-Star and the Engineering Inspiration (before that I was a part of another team who will be competing at the Buckeye Regional shortly (shortly?)). This is the first year I haven't been on the team. I'm a little jealous to miss the year that an OSU FIRST team wins a chairman's award, but I'm happy that the team I helped start was the one that ended up doing it.

However, I wonder a little about the Pittsburgh regional. Charlene Censored-Name, an awful woman (who mentors the high school team that OSU started a long time ago (but has since left)) who heard we were starting a new team and informed the teachers there that we've been known to get involved with girls on the team (which is completely unfounded) which gave us a rough first impression with the teachers there, won the Woody Flowers award, which is basically the highest honor you can give to a mentor. This makes little sense to the rest of us... So the guess is that few Woody Flowers submissions were made to that regional. The regional looks a bit small. ... So maybe the competition isn't as tough there? Of course, many of the biggies showed up there. Chief Delphi (team 45) and team 188 (Canadian team?) were both there, and they chose Dublin to come with them into the quarter finals, which shows that both there WERE some good teams there and that Dublin DID perform well. (though I think the aliance got beat in the quarter finals :( )

So I'm a little jealous. It was good to see Liza looking happy in those pictures. (see the gallery at Dublin's website) It's nice to see her smile. It's nice when we get along. It's upsetting when we don't. Girls have trouble understanding things, and girls like her seem to have trouble moving on.

So anyway, I'm proud of them. I'm glad it finally happened. I'm really excited for their prospects next year. HOWEVER, I know Alan will be graduating soon (after this summer, I think!), so I don't know who is there to take over for him!! Liza? She would be good, but I think she has other things to worry about. Will she do FIRST next year? She'd have a hard time saying no if someone asked her to... But assuming she doesn't (and/or doesn't want to lead)... Then... who? Matt REEDER?! EEK! Who? Back when we had this "cloud" organizational structure, there was always a chance that someone from one of the other teams (who works with the home school team now, anyway? Laura O'Rear?) could come and help a team that was down in personnel, but I think that whole thing has faded... It's really hard to tell. So I'm a little worried about that.

Really, Dublin could probably do okay on their own, but their own high school talent will be going off to college very soon. The last of the Dieterle's is sailing away soon, for example. And I know that last year Mr. King talked about getting less involved, though I think he's pretty deep in it now. He has a family though (including a fairly new baby) so it's hard to tell there too... Anyway, even if the Dublin team could do well on their own, there should at least be the IMAGE of a semi-professional engineering support staff working with them. It allows them access to OSU facilities and gives them a little more confidence that there are real designers available who will make sure things work (true or not? does it matter? :) ).

So that's what's new in shamrock-town. Exciting stuff. They'll probably make the local news (at least a Dublin newspaper). I hope they can raise enough money for nationals. They had a lot of money raised already before the season... hopefully they ran a surplus. <?>

So huzzah to the Dub-sters. I'm proud of you.

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