St. Louis

Separating the boys from men (and the girls from women).

Yesterday our team, or rather an abridged version of our team, arrived in St. Louis for the Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER). For most of us here, this is our first time at GCER and I speak for all of us when I say we’re totally psyched. In between rounds of cards and a trip to the grocery store we began reassembling our robots and practicing our presentation. Technically, Tucker and Benjin practiced their presentation, but the rest of us watched, gave constructive criticism, and provided moral support!

Today I’m coming to you from the pit. All the teams are here to do practice runs before the real competition starts tomorrow. I was told there would be teams from all over the world here but I didn’t think they meant it. We’re stationed two tables away from a team from Qatar, there’s apparently a team from Norway, and I just spoke to a couple of guys from Poland.

We’ve been having some trouble in the practice rounds. Our first go we had a miserable create fail. The second time we had minor technical issues, but we improved. After that we continued to improve, however there were issues with the dirty duck grabbing. The next round was sabotaged by poor board setup. It wasn’t our fault though so I guess it wasn’t that bad. For our fifth round of practice, Tucker and Benjin had to give the presentation, so I had to accompany Albert to the practice table and help set up. (I did an excellent job if I do say so myself.) Unfortunately, regardless of the fact that Albert had the most capable hands working with her, our create bot failed epically once again. Round six: I went up again, worked my magic again, create failed again. This does not please me. Seventh time is a charm? Not exactly, but our create bot didn’t commit suicide this time!

Before I mentioned Tucker and Benjin had a presentation to do. Two representatives from each team have a meeting with the judges in which they discuss the entire process their team goes through before competition. I’ve seen the guys presentation a couple of times and it was great. They came back feeling pretty good about it so I trust it went well. We really appreciate Tucker and Benjin stepping up and giving the presentation (at Regionals, Steven and Liam were tasked with it). My first day at Globals has been a memorable one. I cannot tell you how much fun I had. Highlight of the day: Benjin Dubishar Rick Roll’d me with his very own singing. Can’t wait for tomorrow.