by Sidney Furge of the Pink Eagles
Sidney and Stephanie
When I first started robotics, I really had no idea what it was, other than the fact that my older brother had done it and I wanted to try it. I joined the Pink Eagles not knowing any of the girls, as they had all gone to a different school than me.
It was very shocking at first how much work went into robotics, but I grew to love it. I quickly learned how to program and build parts for the robot. Just after the first year, I felt like a pro.
When we started robotics, we were competing in First Lego League. We quickly excelled in the competition and ended up taking first place at our regional competition every year and moving on to state competitions. First Lego League was amazing, and then our coach approached us asking if we wanted to do the Wonder League Robotics Competition with the Dash and Dot robots from Wonder Workshop.
We quickly agreed and started working. It was so much fun to learn about all of the different features the Dash and Dot robots have. We even named our Dash “Gumdrop” and our Dot “Gumdot.”
This experience with the competition has taught me so many different things that I hadn’t known, even after just two years of being in robotics. This competition was also very laid back. Our team was able to have fun and do crazy challenges, such as the planking challenge, Andy’s coming, and so many more. This really helped our team bond and grow together.
My love of programming and robotics has definitely grown and changed. I have become more passionate over the years. I started not knowing a single thing and came out knowing how to read and write programming code.
It is truly amazing how much robotics has changed my life, and I can’t imagine my life if I had never done it. FLL and Dash and Dot really changed my perspective on hard work. These competitions have really helped me grow, and I hope to continue to grow.
Sep 13, 2017
Frank Tappen currently resides in Hartland, Mich., with his wife and four kids. They own a small shop called The Mentors Robot Shop that offers robotics classes for kids in grades K-8. Frank has coached youth football, Science Olympiad, Jr. FLL, FLL, FRC, WRO, and Dash & Dot robotics teams.