Cousins C & T came up for a too-brief visit this weekend, and we made the absolute most of our time together. The highlight was probably our time watching the regional finals of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robot competition, in which high school teams design, build, trouble-shoot, and then pilot robots which compete in a "game" whose new-every-year rules are specified by the annual competition guidelines. (Videos of this year's and past years' game guidelines are here.)
Our regional event hosted 59 teams (including one from Hawaii!) and they all brought what seemed like hordes of screaming supporters to the Sovereign Bank Arena yesterday:
After watching several elimination rounds leading up to the championship, we discovered that as long as we were wearing safety glasses, we could even go into the "backstage" area and watch the high school students in the "pits" working on their robots!
Here's D happily standing next to the victorious Raider Robotix robot, which especially impressed him with its surprising ability to "grow" to almost four times its original height.
"That's the team I want to be on when I get bigger," he confidently stated.
We came home happy and a little hoarse, and spent the rest of the day puttering with Lego, full of inspiration. Even as they prepared to leave, the girls still seemed to have robotic stars in their eyes:
And you know what? There's a junior league for 6-9 year olds that uses Lego! Watch me bookmark this site in a hurry!