Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Memphis First

I had the real privilege to help with the Memphis First Robotics competition Quick Build session this past Saturday at the University of Memphis.  Students from Memphis high schools came together to begin building robots as the first part of the competition.
The instruction manual

The hardware

Students from the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering begin work on their robot frame.

Craigmont High puts the motors on their assembled base.

Teams work on the programming and electronic components
It was wonderfully rich mix of young, middle, old, female, male, black, white, Asian, Latino, student, teacher, parent, mentor, sponsor, friend coming to together to learn, build, do, redo, make, program, share, talk, meet, eat, compete, cooperate, collaborate and create with each other.  Most surprising to me was the growing enthusiasm from the student teams as the day progressed.  By the end of the build at 4 p.m., teams from Hamilton, St. Mary's, Manassas, Craigmont and Memphis Business Academy had their basic robot going, and the rest were very much on the way.

While it was a scheduling coincidence that the build happened on the Martin Luther King birthday weekend, the event still demonstrated a great new Memphis that MLK's legacy is helping build.

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