I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

The Nutty Robots!

Mommy Crusader Parenting, Uncategorized 4 Comments

*This is what has interrupted my regularly scheduled posts. And it’s pretty fantastic.

My children are amazing! I know every mother thinks that, but I’m not just talking about my children. I’m talking about the children I get the privilege to work with weekly in a private robotics club. Our club is small, only four members, but what they pulled off this last week was nothing short of a miracle. We are the Nutty Robots team, and here’s our story from the weekend.

Let me set the stage a bit before I talk about the miracle.

We’ve been preparing since the summer to compete in VEX IQ robotics competitions. The competitions require teams to build a robot from the ground up (using VEX pieces that are similar to Tinker Toys, but made out of plastic). To win points the robot needs to be able to pick up balls off of the game table, put them over a fence and into a basket (without going into the area on the other side of the fence), go up a ramp, and knock all the balls off of the ramp.

I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

This is from a previous competition. My third grader is running the autonomous programming for the robot.

So, we’ve been building a robot that can do all that.

There are other parts to this competition as well. Teams need to design a STEM project (this year’s focus is on science), research, plan, execute, and present that project to judges. We tested pickling methods … with some interesting results.  Teams also need to present their developed robot – talking about the creative and engineering process involved in the robot’s development. In addition, teams need to be able to maneuver the robot on the game table to score points. And, did I mention, teams need to write a program for the robot to maneuver (and score points) on the game table following the previously mentioned guidelines?

Nothing too daunting for a 7th grader, two 5th graders, and a 3rd grader.

Over the course of four months, the robot my team has created – MARS – has been developed, and the other areas of the competition prepared for. Our team competed once in October and did very well. But, the robot did not travel home well. So we spent about three weeks putting it back together. We were all ready for the next robotics competition, when suddenly – one of the axles for our shooter snapped in half.

Did I mention the axle snapped off 72 hours before we were supposed to compete?

I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

This was the picture we took when the flywheel snapped off. . . and all our troubles began.

After that axle snapped off, there were five more consecutive system failures. By 10 p.m. that night, my living room floor was strewn with pieces of our precious robot.

I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

My third grader, staying up way to late, to fix the exploded robot. He made it until 10:30 that night. My fifth grader stayed up until 1 a.m. working on the robot too. Without their work that night, the team wouldn’t have been able to complete.

But, we had determined team members who worked. By 48 hours before the competition, we were going to cancel our participation in the competition. At 24 hours before the competition, we were going to cancel our participation in the competition. By 9 p.m. the night before the competition, though, the robot was reconstructed.

So, off we went to the competition, just glad we could go and learn. Except . . . that didn’t happen.

I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

It’d been a long few days getting to this competition. My fifth grader’s determination to make the robot competition-ready was inspiring. The team leader’s (the seventh grader) problem solving actions were legendary. And my other fifth grader’s (I’m borrowing him from his mom) ability to keep everyone sane made it all better.  Because of these four,we made it. I blocked some of the team member’s faces to protect their privacy.

Instead, we went to the competition and our robot won the programming portion of the competition!

All because four kids didn’t accept the disaster, didn’t give up, and (thanks to the grace of God) were able to pull off the impossible.

All children are amazing! What are some ways your children are amazing?

I coach the Nutty Robots team. And, while preparing for a competition, a series of unfortunate incident occurred. What happened next showed just how amazing kids really are.

 

Comments 4

  1. What a great experience! My 10 yr old daughter has been taking a robotics class and has loved learning the programming and building. I think this would have been an event she would have really liked a lot. How do you find out about these things? Is it through 4H?

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  2. Wow! Very cool! My husband would love to do something like this! Way to get your kids involved in something so different that teaches them great skills, not to give up and keep going!

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