Day 146: Keep, Fix, Try

A reflection technique that I learned from Scouting, is “Keep, Fix, Try.” Each year, we use this technique to reflect on the FIRST Robotics season.


The students demonstrate remarkable insight. In the past, their feedback has resulted in significant changes the next year that has elevated our team to where it is today. In consideration for the introverts among us, I always encourage students to submit their reflections offline and privately as well. I have received seven pages of reflection from graduating seniors in past years.


Day 145: The Holometer

A few summers ago, I had the pleasure of working at Fermilab on the Holometer Experiment. I wrote a series of posts attempting to explain the experiment. In my AP Physics B class, we take a day after finishing nuclear physics to share my experience with my students. The Holometer and the physics behind it are a great example of how much we don’t yet understand about our universe. I want students to appreciate that the field of physics is constantly changing and there is so much more to explore. Too often an introductory physics course presents the material in the context of 100-year-old, dead, white guys.


Day 144: FIRST Midwest Regional Competition

This past weekend, Huskie Robotics, FIRST Team 3061, competed at the Midwest Regional Competition. I am so proud of how the team performed. After qualification matches, we were ranked 7th, perhaps our highest ranking ever. During alliance selection, we became the captain of the fifth-seeded alliance where we selected teams 111 and 1781. Our alliance was defeated in the quarterfinal which was a disappointing end to our season.

However, the extraordinary efforts of several of our team members was recognized when we were awarded the Gracious Professionalism award for the assistance our team provided to other teams. This is the second time in three years that we have been awarded the Gracious Professionalism award. One of our team members spent considerable time assisting a rookie team. This rookie team was selected as the third robot on the first seeded alliance which won the regional. To show their appreciation, this team gave one of their championship medals to this student! This students efforts on the competition is illustrative of the culture we have tried to build over the years on our team, which makes me so proud. Furthermore, our mechanical lead Arpan was named as one of the Dean’s List finalists and will go to St. Louis to compete against other Dean’s List Finalists. Arapn has contributed so much to the team and FIRST over the past four years and this award is well deserved.

Our media team published a video blog for each of the three days of the Midwest Regional:

Midwest Regional Day #1 from Naperville North High School on Vimeo.

Midwest Regional Day #2 from Naperville North High School on Vimeo.

Midwest Regional Day 3 from Naperville North High School on Vimeo.