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Monday, April 1

Ups and Downs

Life has been full of loops and ups and downs lately. I joked with the RHPB last week that I'm ready for my ticket for the kiddie coaster - it's time to trade in steep climbs and drops for something a little more mellow. March was full of both, and I'm now looking towards April for some mellower times.

The "ups" are great! It's mostly the "ups" that have brought me back to this blog. Writing provides me a nice outlet to share good news and way to reflect on the "ups".


Meet "Tamra":
This little robot was designed, built, and programmed over the course of six weeks this winter by a geeky group of robotics students called the High Desert Droids. "Tamra" was designed to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition game, “Ultimate Ascent”. The robot is capable of firing flying discs at goals, maneuvering around a complicated playing field, and climbing to the first level of a structure to score points during each tournament match.

Together with their alliance partners (Error Code Xero of Wilsonville and Skunkworks of Des Moines, WA) they were the Regional Winners at the Central Washington FIRST Tournament in Ellensburg, WA. Things didn't always go as expected for them this year, and to be honest I was over the moon when they were picked for finals. There are some extremely dedicated and talented kids on the team who deserved more chances to play. In the finals, they used their robot in ways they originally didn't expect to - shooting and scoring for their team as well as playing heavy offensive defense. In the end, the three teams were that perfect combination of talent and skill (and probably some luck!) that it takes to get a win.

My son, Stinky, is their lead programmer. I can't tell you how proud I am - there are no words big and awesome enough to describe how big my heart feels when I think about this little band of underdogs and their robot.

Nicely done, Team 753!!

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