Local high school Robotics team on NightLine

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Tonight’s Nightline episode was dedicated to the local Carl Hayden High School Robotics group and their underwater ROV competition win against several universities including the likes of MIT. It’s a true underdog story.

The story is particularly interesting in light of Scoble’s and others’ comments on inspiring the current generation of students to pursue engineering and science fields.

There’s more on the Falcon Robotics team here in a Wired magazine article. It’s the stuff of movies. A must read.

I met team-member Lorenzo, their co-teacher Allan Cameron, and several others on the team (sorry I can’t recall their names) at the recent Microcomputers in Education Conference at ASU. The high school Robotic team had a booth near the Tablet PC table I was manning. In downtime the kids came over to experiment with the Tablets on display and I snuck over to check out their Robots.

They were all interested in shaking down the Tablets to see what they could do. In no time at all Lorenzo had Physics Illustrator hurling objects through a maze of springs and ropes. And others were painting in ArtRage, flooding Journal with ink, and challenging MathJournal to solve random equations. It was terrific to see them contemplate the possibilities.

It didn’t take long before they had ideas about how they could use a Tablet to their advantage in future competitions. I only wish I had an extra Tablet to donate to their efforts. Their energy is infectious.

Congrats to the Falcon team. It’s great to see such creativity. Keep thinking big.