Live from the 2011 NC FIRST Robotics Competition

Yesterday and today you’ll find me in Raleigh’s Dorton Arena for my second year as an inspector for the NC FIRST robotics competition. (Click here to read about my experiences last year.)

As was the case last year, gracious professionalism is the rule of the day.

There are 52 teams total, and 17 of them are rookies. Not only have those kids not attended this event before, some of them are coming from areas where there is no high-speed Internet access – yes, they do dial-up, if you can imagine that!

Some of the teams have no adult mentors – yes, they did all of their work on their own. One of the coolest things about that is the way that groups of other adults and students jumped in to help these groups. In some cases, they were helping the rookies literally build their robot on site. The best was the group that passed their inspection at 09:29:30 and raced onto the field for their 9:30 match (watch the video to see this year’s Logomotion game)! Their cries of “We did it!” and the looks on their faces will stay with me for a long time.

As was the case last year, I am blown away by the camaraderie at this event. All of the teams are doing everything they can to help their fellow competitors be as successful as they can be. It doesn’t mean everyone’s a winner. It just means they have the chance to do their best.

The robotics matches at NC FIRST continue today through 5:30 p.m. On Saturday they have matches from 9:30-4:00. Come to Raleigh’s Dorton Arena and check it out.

–By Danielle McCulloch

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Posted by Danielle McCulloch

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