Tuesday, March 8, 2011

3/8/11: At Last, Release

Today was a busy busy day. This was the main reason we came to Montana: to present our experience in the Zero Robotics program.

Once again, we went to a nice breakfast. Afterwards, we went to a presentation about competition robotics and education. There were three presenters in this presentation: Jeff Norris, Dave Lavery, and Alvar Saenz-Otero (who was presenting about Zero Robotics). After listening through this presentation (and gaining our fair share of recognition by Alvar during his presentation), we went back to our condo to do some final run-throughs of our presentation. These last practice sessions made us feel great about the coming presentation, so we went back to the conference building with smiles on our faces and a few butterflies in our stomachs.

We were treated to a great lunch consisting of some fantastic chili and some strawberry shortcake. After, we went to the conference hall and waited for 20 other Junior presenters to finish before we presented.

And then... it came. That moment when we go on stage and suddenly realize they only have one mic. This damaged our presentation fundamentally because Matt and I alternate quite a bit in the simulation vid section (which, by the way, worked perfectly fine). After that, we did great. It was ALMOST as good as our final practice run. We got some great pictures taken and received small glass trophies and a mysterious CD, which we have yet to analyze.

Right as the Junior Conference ended, a Tubing session was beginning. So we rushed back to the condo, changed our clothes, and rushed back. Alvar and Sreeja also came with us, and we all had a great time.

Afterwards, it was about time for dinner. We decided to offer Alvar and Sreeja the option of coming to dinner at a local restaurant with us, which they decided to do. The food was amazing, and we had some great, fun discussion with our "guests".

We came home and dropped off Alvar and Sreeja, then went back to the condo. Matt, Mr. Feenstra and I played Clue. A funny thing happened the first round of the night: I completely randomly guessed perfectly correctly on the first turn. Of course I was accused of cheating because I had dealt the cards (not really, it was a joke), but it was all in good fun. I sat here writing yesterday's post, and now I'm about to go to bed. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some nice videos and pictures up of all of the events of the week.

And now, the most stressful part of the week is officially over. Now it's all fun and games until we come back (for the most part).

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