What to do with your kids with inquiring minds this March weekend when the sky is gray and the rain keeps on falling?
The best bet is to get your kids and a few of their friends and families together for a field trip to the First Robotics Club’s Sacramental Regional competition going on right now at UC Davis’ ARC Pavilion. http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc
Go cheer for Robot Kiwi-Draw of San Marin Robotics Penguin Empire team (sponsored by a grant from NASA this year and Novato Sunrise Rotary since inception) this weekend. Competing against 49 other teams in the region, the team has won big during the first match this morning, but encountered technical difficulties during the 2nd match, has no doubt been fixing that problem at lightning speed for the 3rd match.
This is the fifth year San Marin Robotics competes in First Robotics Competition where they won Rookie of the Year award the first year and has done quite well the following years.
Programmers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, set designers, reporters, fundraisers; grant writers are all integral part of the team. A grass root effort led by passionate advisor, Mr. Mike Sousa, and parents with heavy technical background as mentors of the students during the past five years.
This year’s theme is ‘Rebound Rumble’ . The video introduces the concept and perimeter of which each team work on to design and build the robot. Each team was provided a basic kit and was responsible for designing their own robot that fit the prescribed criteria in order to win the most point.
San Marin Robotics picked up the game kit at the beginning of the year when the competition officially started worldwide, worked daily for six weeks, including several all day, all-hands-on-deck weekends to be ready for the competition.
This is one of the most exciting competitions I have ever witnessed with the intensity rival state level sports competitions. The first day and half consists of individual team seeding competitions. After seeding competition, the top 8 teams select other teams after carefully observing each team’s weakness and strength to form alliances for the alliance team competition. The Alliance competition encourages team forming, building and working cooperatively within a very short time frame for the alliance victory.
For parents who are looking for something challenging and fun for their kids with the hope to expose and inspire their love for engineering and technology, this is a must-attend event. This gives one hope of what we can do, ever so quietly, as a community, for the great good of our students.
Note – San Marin Robotics sponsors an outreach program, working with middle and elementary schools, to raise awareness and help them start their own Robotics clubs.
San Marin Robotics team graduates are now in various engineering, techology, medical, bio-technology programs in leading universities with one of the first year member working for Facebook.