GeekDad: “Gearing Up”
One of the coolest, most fun things I ever got to do as a reporter was cover the 2002 FIRST Robotics Competition.
I was the education writer at the Tribune-Chronicle in Warren, Ohio, and I spent a lot of time that spring hanging out with the kids and teachers and mentors of Harding High’s Delphi E.L.I.T.E. team. The enthusiasm they all had for this project and the competition was ridiculously infectious.
My daughter and I went with them to the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland that year -Kelsey was barely five years old, but she totally dug walking around the pit areas and seeing the robot guts and watching them in action – and later in the season, the paper’s editor asked if I’d be interested in traveling to cover the team at that year’s National Championship in Orlando.
Jim freelanced the Trib’s photo coverage, and we had a blast over the three-day event. It’s always been hard for me to capture the energy and commitment these teams and their supporters put into it, but as I mentioned over at GeekDad, there’s a documentary out on DVD now that follows four teams on their road to the Nationals, and I just may have to check it out.