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Titan Robotics Club: 2006 Pacific Northwest Regional Chairman’s Award Winners

This last weekend, I attended the FIRST Robotics Competition’s Pacific Northwest Regional. This year’s regional was packed with talent, with the best West-Coast team (254), us (492), another two-time champion (753) and old-schoolers such as Tacoma’s 360 and Los Altos’ 114. We knew the going would be rough, especially with a robot not performing to our high expectations, but we were still pretty disappointed after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The TRC is also pretty accustomed to getting a few awards at our home regional. Past years have seen at least one, and usually two or three awards coming our way. So when it came down to the last award, and we still hadn’t won anything, some of the Titan’s faithful were feeling a little low. But I had my camera rolling as the following took place:

The Regional Chairman’s Award was created to keep the focus of the FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming our culture to one where youth aspire to careers in science and teechnology. This award honors the team that, in the judges’ estimation best represents a model for other teams to emulate and which embodies the goals and purposes of FIRST. Among the factors that the judges evaluate are: concrete examples of mentorship between students and engineers, demonstations of how a team inspires others in its school, community and beyond to share the excitement and fun of engineering, and finally, compelling stories about how the partnership has impacted the lives of those involved. This is FIRST’s most prestigious award. The winner of this award will be invited to the 2006 Championship in Atlanta where it will compete against the winners of the other 32 regionals for the Chairman’s Award. And now, here are what the judges have to say about this regional Chairman’s Award team:

This team is widely recognized for the impact on the FIRST community. They host kickoff, pre-ship events, and (OH MY GOD!) (laughter)… and you can download their code on their website. This team has perpetuated itself through active recruitment and FIRST Lego League mentoring. They have grown to a team of 49, including 21 girls. These Titans of the Community exemplify the meaning of FIRST by all acounts. The 2006 Regional Chairman’s Award for the Pacific Northwest Regional goes to team number 492!

Missing FIRST

For the first time since 2002, I am missing the Pacific Northwest Regional.

I wish all of the Titans the best of luck, and I will be seeing them tonight. I can’t wait to get down there.

Late Night Robotics

After school, I headed to Honeywell to exchange the Saturn for the truck, then across the street to Microsoft’s parking garage to pick up carpet, then to IS, then to Bellevue High to pick up carpet, then back to IS, then hung out at IS for a long time meeting with leaders, then parents, then working on coding the robot, then to Ian’s to make the shooter gate a roller, then to Larry’s to drop off the robot (at 1:30 am) then back here to watch some olympics (I’m really missing out this year) and eat some food before reading some news, dealing with a bunch of emails, and generally causing havoc and mayhem. Yo.

Inspiration

UPDATED:

I rewrote some portions to make it more closely follow the original…

R: Kickoff Saturday, wake up in the early mornin’
R: Call Bobby just to see how he’s doin’
B: Hello?
R: What up Bob!
B: Yo Elroy, what’s cracking?
R: You thinking what I’m thinking?
B: Kickoff
2: Then it’s happening
B: First the robot needs control with odometry
R: Lets google sourceforge and utilize some ANSI C!
B: No doubt that website is all about sharing!
R: I love open source like a wheel loves a bearing!

B: It’s two,
R: No six,
B: No twelve,
2: Pounds overweight!
R: That robot’s needs to diet
B: I’m drilling through that metal plate!

Where’s the kickoff playing?
At International dude
Well, lets hit up Yahoo maps to find the dopest route
I prefer MapQuest (Thats a good one too)
Google maps in the best (True that)
Double True!

R: To the TRC headquarters
B: What’s the game gonna be?
R: Lets get moving now, man.
B: Like Stack Attack, maybe?

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

R: Hit of Laird Plastics, TAP is overpriced
B: Got the purchase order,
R: gonna spend it all thrice!
B: Don’t want the judges to get suspicious
R: Aluminum and polycarb equals totally auspicious!
B: Walk up to the counter, pull out the P.O.
R: Girl actred like she’d never seen the T.R.C. before!
2: Its all about the drill press baby
B: Throw the goods in the trunk and we off like crazy

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

R: Roll up to the IPAC. Grab two crates full of good times.
R: You can call us R&B from the way we’re throwing down the rhymes
B: Parked in out seats, robotics trivia is key
R: What award did we win out-of-state in ‘03?
B: We answered so fast and then we let it slip
R: Now everyone knows it was entrepreneurship
B: Turn off our cell phones
R: We won’t talk to our clients
2: We’re about to learn of an engineered world of science!

–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

While reading my Introduction to Digital Design Textbook this morning before class, I was hit with a flash of inspiration. To understand, you must first watch Saturday Night Live’s Diginal Short “Chronic (what) cles of Narnia.” My version is called the “TRC Rap.” It was originally written for a cast of Bobby and myself, but it would also work well with Dan (Marsh or Moretti) or anyone else whose name has one- and two-syllable versions.

R: is a line I say
B: is a line Bobby (or whoever) would say
2: is a line both say

R: Kickoff Saturday, wake up in the early mornin’
R: Call Bobby just to see how he’s doin’
B: Hello? R: Whatup Bob! B: Yo McElroy, what’s crackin’?
R: You thinking what I’m thinking?
B: Kickoff (2: Man its happening)
B: But first my mini sumo needs to control its electricity
R: Lets google sourceforge and utilize some ANSI C!
B: Man that website is all about sharing!
R: I love open source like a wheel loves a bearing!

R: Hit of Laird Plastics, TAP is overpriced
B: Got the purchase order, R: gonna spend it all thrice!
B: Don’t want the judges to get suspicious
R: Aluminum and polycarb equals totally auspicious!
B: Walk up to the counter, pull out the P.O.
R: Girl actred like she’d never seen the T.R.C. befo’!
2: Its all about the regional champs dude
B: Throw the goods in the trunk, now we’re in a good mood
–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–
R: Roll up to the IPAC (B: Give a shout out to the Titan Times)
R: You can call us R&B from the way we’re throwing down the rhymes
B: Sit down in the theater, robotics trivia is key
R: What award did we win out-of-state in ’03?
B: We both knew the answer, because we are so hip
R: But other teams didn’t know that it was entrepreneurship
B: Turn off our cell phones, we won’t talk to our clients
R: We’re about to learn of an engineered world of science!
–Chorus (repeating, switching off)–
Its the kickoff (What!) Of the F.R.C.!
Done by FIRSTWA (Who?) and the T.R.C.!
–End Chorus–

How’s that for creativity?

New Year’s Eve

Woke up late after talking long into the night with Scott Marsh about Mag Lev trains. Next, I wandered off to work for several hours as there is a test currently going on that I am monitoring. After finishing up, I made contact with Scott Torborg and Courtney. I dropped off Courtney’s Christmas gift (finally) and ate a little bit at Thai Ginger in Factoria with her group, which included her boyfriend, Ann, and another friend (an attractive vegetarian Indian girl). I guess I have to hang out with Courtney more often, as the food was good and the company too. After this, I returned home, got stuff ready, and then met Torborg at the Marshes, where we ate good food and had good times.

Eventually, Jonathan arrived and we headed to Seattle where we met with Beth and a friend of hers, Shai, Greg, and Katie and Mike. Beth, Shai, Greg and I took off just before midnight to watch the fireworks off of the Space Needle, which was fun. We then stayed up late having a pretty good time. I then returned home to see a new (loaner) TV, so I ha to watch a movie, which ended up being the always enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean. Then it was now. I think instead of sleep I’ll power thorugh today, which includes church (gotta meet Breein’s lucky guy), perhaps Seahawks with Dan, a short stint at work to replace batteries, and the last TRC leadership meeting before the 2006 FIRST Robotics Kickoff Event.

UPDATE: Well, that plan didn’t work.

In Portland

I am in Portland on a business trip. I am staying in the downtown, which reminds me a lot of the FIRST Robotics Competition, because this is where the Pacfic Northwest Regional is held. Go TRC!

And oh yeah, I’ve been up since four-fricken-thirty AM, and that was after three hours of sleep. Goodnight!

We’re Back!

Your $6000 payment for 2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Pacific Northwest Regional event has been received and your registration is now confirmed.

Thank you,

FIRST Finance Department