Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New Team Mate

During the entire early season we had discussed with the older team that after Lego was done, we wanted them to mentor the younger team and transfer their knowledge so when they went into the metal division they would have the knowledge.  We had envisioned that maybe many of them would join the team to shadow them to learn what the others did.  But when they decided to do that crazy month thing - it was the perfect way to mentor them intensely.  And so they did.

The two brothers again - now wearing the same shirt
But then they took it one step farther.  I asked them to put the issue of the kids joining them to rest before they went out to dinner one night.  When they came back - they had made a decision.  They told me they would invite my youngest son to join them officially and make him a Brainstormer.

This was right after they had finished that crazy month and they had been really impressed with him - he had always impressed them and had to go to all their competitions as we couldn't leave him home alone.  In fact for years he had been their best 'scout', informing them of which teams had which skills and letting them know which teams would be their best partners or the best strategy to run with them on the field.  Now it would be official.
Collecting the MA State Championship
Trophy - he was the driver

And not in name only - no shadowing.  The head programmer said that he had to be a full team mate - that meant he would be let into the code, would have to pull his weight, drive and everything.  I had tears in my eyes.  This was their last year in robotics and they just told me that they were going to let this 7th grader on their team and affect their chances of winning or loosing on their last run for the gold.  I told them what character I thought they had.

Andy was more than thrilled.  He poured his heart into it.  My husband started teaching him Java and
he took over tons of the testing of the code and running testing protocols on the robot.  The brothers drove every morning before school and with so much practice the two boys became a formidable driving team.

We went to the state championship I talked about before (when we pulled the local high school along to the championship and thus moved them on to the super regional).  The guys let Andy collect the State Championship trophy - becoming the only kid to ever win the robot game in MA in both levels in one year.

Getting ready for the Finals Matches of the MA State Championship.  The Seniors and the 7th grader.


  1. I have tears in my eyes, too--what a wonderful group of young people you have mentored and helped to develop!

  2. I am loving these stories! So glad you are sharing all this. What great kids!

  3. They are great kids. I have learned so much about raising kids and mentoring kids through this experience. Much of it is modeling good behavior, rewarding and praising the right decisions, and keeping on them when the brain and mouth don't work in concert (ha ha). It also helps to have adversity and to have to do things themselves with the support of us as cheerleaders.