To all the volunteers at the 2014 Robot Challenge:
Thank you for doing a fantastic job on Saturday and Sunday. Until last year we used to have twice the number of teams on Saturday as Sunday, but last year it was the reverse - 14 teams on Saturday and 35 teams on Sunday – which we attributed to the Spring Break coming right before our weekend. This year Spring Break was to be after our event, so we figured we’d be back to our previous experience, but an accumulation of snow days had everyone playing catch-up, and we determined a week ago that many more teams wanted to again come Sunday rather than Saturday.
Thanks to a magnificent response from all of you, we deleted the 2nd session on Saturday, added a 2nd session to Sunday, and we finished up with 19 teams on Saturday and 32 teams on Sunday. That’s 2 more teams than last year, but everything seemed to go far smoother. We even switched the lunch service to Sunday, and everyone was able to enjoy some nice food, served in-doors on a glorious day.
We completed all Oral Presentations by 3:30 PM on Sunday (a record), and were able to begin the Awards ceremony at 4 PM.
Judges are our points of contact with our students, and you are the ones who make this experience particularly memorable to them. Thank you very much for all that you have done for them!
I would particularly like to thank Dave Boyd, who managed the Track events, and Brian Sequeira, who ran the Oral Presentations. Jay Gamerman, our co-Director, has been handling all contacts with our schools, supplying them with kits and arranging for mentors, and together with John Dentler, they have been doing all the complex Administrative tasks involved in running this event. Scott Goedeke has miraculously kept up with feeding data from all our judges to the computers that kept the monitor display alive and lively. Bill Semancik and his crew ran the PIT, and was also the creator of the complex software that provides the scores in Real Time to the monitor, much to the delight of students and their parents. Jeff Friedhoffer is the keeper of our web-site, and not only posts the results of the Event and the photos, but also keeps it current throughout the year. Finally, I’d like to thank my daughter Rachel, who with good humor in her announcements kept the teams organized, and handed out the trophies (with Ariella) during the Awards Ceremony.
It was a great couple of days! On behalf of the IEEE, thank you all so very much!
Neville Jacobs, Director, Student Activities, IEEE Baltimore Section