We are at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri providing photography coverage for one of our local High Schools in Stoney Creek. Orchard Park Secondary School Robotics Team 2056 is taking part in the championship again this year and hoping to come home with the title, after making it all they way to the final game in 2010 and coming in second place. This was no small accomplishment as the very best of the best from all around the world compete for the title of the 2011 First Robotics Champions.
As I was walking around the pits on Thursday to get a lay of the venue I noticed teams from Mexico, Hawaii, South Africa, Australia and many more countries from around the world.The United States has a very large group of teams to take on the title. The excitement and electricity is heavy in the air as more than 20,000 people from all age groups as young as babies in the arms of mothers to proud grandparents to cheer on their grandchildren in the competition as they move around the dome.
Stan Hunter is the Orchard Park High School teacher, mentor and driving force behind the team with a great group of mentors and volunteers to help support them. 2056 brought 51 members to help to accomplish their goal of being world champions. The team has traveled with a little over 20 students. The name of the robot this year is "Un-Finished" business which they hope to change to "Finished Business" come Saturday.
St. Louis is a fantastic city and I have had nothing but a great experience from the moment with got off the plane at the airport and we were greeted by a group of ladies to help us find our way to the hotel and answer any of our questions. We decided to take a shuttle to the hotel due to a rain storm that just seems to not want to stop after the latest Tornado that went through St.Louis last week. The driver a very nice and proud member of the city gave us a great tour and pointed out the interesting history and city highlights. As we traveled and spoke to each other I had the opportunity to speak to a young lady from Israel who had been traveling for more than 24hr. to arrive in St.Louis. This made me feel much better after leaving Stoney Creek at 7:30am on Wed. When we arrived at the Hampton Inn Hotel we were greeted by a great staff that new all about the Robotics Championship and were more than happy and willing to make us feel welcome. The city has done a fantastic job in promoting the championship with large bill boards advertising, welcoming all the people to the many signs at the airport and on the lamp post of the city.
Friday is the elimination round for the championship and it is going to be a busy and exciting day. Opening ceremonies start at 8:30am followed by a day of matches and then a concert in the evening with the Black Eyed Peas for all the teams and mentors. The great thing is the concert is free for all the kids. This was a great hit when announced.
I will be adding content as the week progresses. I hope you enjoy.