Monday, January 30, 2012

Groundwater Modeling & Robots????

As some of you know, my wife and I have been coaching our local high school robotics team.  The team competes in the FIRST Tech Challenge (see  It is a really great way to keep kids interested in science and math.  Also, a practical benefit is the $9 million in scholarships available to robotics team members when they apply to college. 

Our team is #4433 Smokin' Motors (so named because last year we killed an electric motor in spectacular fashion).  Please check out the team web site at  This is our second year competing in FTC and we have qualified for the Pennsylvania State Championship at the end of February.

There are two reasons I wanted to put this in my blog.  First, we live in a very rural part of Pennsylvania where we have lots of cows, horses, and tractors, but not many engineering companies.  Our team could really use some mentors who are engineers.  I have always been impressed by the diverse background of groundwater modelers and I am confident some of your out there are engineers (or have an interest in robots)!  If you would be interested in helping our team, please let me know.  I envision several web meetings between September 2012 and January 2013 to introduce you to the challenge for next year, explain our strategy in tackling that challenge, and get some ideas on how we might go about that.  We would probably only need about 4 hours of your time over that 5-month period.  If you are interested, please send me an email (

The second reason for posting this to my blog is to see if any of you would be interested in starting a robotics team.  Teams do not need to be associated with a school and they do not need to be in the USA.  A lot of the teams are boy scout troups, girl scout troups, home-school organizations, etc.  FTC teams need between 2 and 10 kids ages 14 to 18.  The cost of starting a team is about $2,500.  That includes purchasing all of the materials and attending one or two competitions.  I would like to sponsor one or two teams each year.  If you would be interested, please contact me.

My daughter Ingrid and I will be make a brief presentation at the end of my upcoming webinar on February 20.  The webinar is free and will be presented at 11 am Eastern Time (USA) and 8 pm Eastern Time.  I would just like to take the last 5 minutes or so to describe our team and FTC in general.  If you would like to attend, there are links on our main home page at



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