Friday, March 5, 2010
Creative Genius or Just Teenage Boys?
Now you are probably wondering where I'm going with this blog post. This is Ian, my youngest. From the time Ian was little he loved taking things apart to see how they worked. He is the kind of kid that you didn't leave home alone, cause when you came home the microwave may no longer be just for microwaving...it may now also get few television stations...the vcr probably could fry an egg and or the computer could now do the mambo.....ok you get the idea. Ian loved taking things apart and making them "better"!
Going for a test run.
More tweaking before competing.
So what do you do with a bunch of like minded teenage boys? Well,you form a robotics club. You give them a bunch of metal parts, gears, sprockets, wheels, treads and motors and see what they build. Scarey thought, huh? Well these kids are the future engineers, scientist and inventors.
This was Towson Terminators second competition...their name sounds kind of ominous...brings vision of Arnold Swartzenagger in Terminator to mind for me...anyway back to the competition. I missed the first one due to a 5 day craftshow but I was able to mke this one.
One of the rules to competing is that all team members must be present. This makes sense...we all know for some kids the fun is in the building....well the fun really in is seeing your creation in action.
The competing teams work together. Some may borrow "needed" but missing parts, some obviously lend. In the final part of the competition the teams form alliances and up to 3 robots compete on each side. So many lessons learned here...but shhhh...don't tell the kids!
Talking to the ref..yep there is a ref. His job is to count the balls that remain after the robots compete. The way points are scored is each ball has a set point value and the goal is to get more of the balls on your opponents side of the wall than is on yours. Sounds simple huh? Well depending on how well your robot was thought out, maybe not!
Sometimes things don't go as planned...or mabe they do. A football is going for a ride on the side of the robot.
And if 2 different kinds of balls weren't enough, the last 30 seconds of competing, a large white ball, the size of a volleyball, is introduced to both teams, which needs to be negotiated onto your competitors side of the wall.
All in all the robots were creative, the competition a testament to collaborative working and a good time was had by all....and in the end it keeps my appliances out of harms way!