Weekly Photo Challenge: New

All around the world, students were exposed to something new this morning … the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge was unveiled through a live webcast.

FIRST Robotics Game Reveal

FIRST Robotics is a global competition for 9th through 12th graders (14 through 18 year old students). The vision of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is:

To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. ~ Dean Kamen, Founder

UMD Robotics Kickoff Event

Each year, a new game is announced for FIRST Robotics teams on a set date at a set time, regardless of where that team is located in the world. Scrolling through the list of kickoff events, one could see team events in Australia, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Israel, Mexico, and many places throughout the United States — including Duluth, Minnesota, home to several teams, including the Duluth East Daredevils!

UMD Kickoff Signs

As the hour of 10:30 a.m. EST approached, teams of high school students from around the region counted down the seconds until the live broadcast began.

FIRST Robotics Kickoff Countdown

The broadcast opened with reminders of the far-reaching skills these students learn through this program — things like collaboration, the value of hard work and persistence, and the overriding FIRST value of “Gracious Professionalism.”  (Pretty sure we can all think of many adults who could learn a thing or two from this program’s value system!)

Then, the new game for 2015 — RECYCLE RUSH — was revealed, as explained in this post on the Duluth East Daredevils’ website.  Previews of the competition field and game equipment were shown by a quick video demonstration, with reference to certain new rules that would be contained in the Competition Manual.

After the live broadcast concluded, teams were allowed to pick up their 2015 Kit of Parts.

Robotics Kit of Parts  FIRST Robotics Parts Distribution

As teams collected their parts and dispersed, the air was abuzz with excitement and energy.  Team members began sharing ideas and the 6-week design and build season clock started ticking.

FIRST Robotics build season begins

FIRST Robotics is an amazing opportunity.  Adult mentors work with student team members to brainstorm strategy, teach machining and programming skills, and transfer knowledge gained from life experiences that students will benefit from long after their time with the program.  All regional and district FIRST Robotics competitions are free and open to the public — check out an upcoming event in your area in February, March, or April, by checking this calendar.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”New” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

I know, you’re thinking, “Oh no, not another ice and snow post!”  I promise this will be the last one for awhile.

The powers of reflection and refraction create one of nature’s most appreciated displays …

lake superior ice 16 2_23_14

… the rainbow!

lake superior ice 16a 2_23_14

Rainbows need not be large to be appreciated – this miniature one lurking amongst the ice pile on Lake Superior was a little treasure!

lake superior ice 16a 2_23_14 (2)

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Reflections” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.