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Tuesday, October 17

Geekdom Confirmed

A few weeks ago I was in Toys-r-us and caught sight of the new Lego Mindstorms Kitand I am quite sure I was drooling. Some girls drool over shoes and clothes and such normal girly things...me? I drool over robotics kits. See, about three years I coached my two oldest boys lego robotics team. It was the third year we competed as this particular team of kids and we won the research competition(again!) and came within about 20 points of moving on to the state competition. The trouble was in the actually task completetion with the robot. We had several issues...batteries that didn't stay full power long enough to be reliable, difficulty in timing and pacing the robot...all things that everyone else had issues with surely but things that we struggled to overcome. Especially since I am one of those coaches that won't just do all the work for the kids...ohhh how I hate those teams who bring in ringers...the ones who bring in some big programmer guy and he writes all the code for the kids. Anyway...we had issues and all of them can be solved with the new technology. Recharable batteries, built in rotation sensors...ohhhh my oh my. It gets costly to run a team, costly and time consuming, neither of which I have enough of. Next year. I have got to pull a team together for next year. The oldest boy is too old for it, he's moved on to high school robotics...but the middle guy has one more year left in which he can still compete in First Lego League.

So then, a few days ago I got an email at work offering me a free entry to a conference for engineers. Now, I am not an engineer but I was extremely tempted to go anyhow because the email stated that they were giving away prizes...yup you guessed it...one of the prizes was the new Mindstorms kit. I was ooo'ing and ahhh'ing over it when a guy I work with happened by and said "oh Deanna, did I just hear you talking about Mindstorms?" This led into a 30 minute conversation about the pros and cons of the new set and this years challenge. I was enthralled! and a little bit jealous. He's coaching a team this year. The regional competition is in November and he's invited me to come down and watch. I just might do so...I'd love to see the new robots. Maybe he'll ask me to a practice...maybe they need another coach! Yeah...I am just that much of a geek.



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