What a great trip! The team performed well, finishing on the 4th place alliance in the Milstein Division sponsored by the CIA. Being selected for the playoffs was an honor that puts the students among the top 128 teams in the world by some measures. The students also presented their impact award to the judges.
More importantly, students experienced a worldwide conference, working closely with teams from many countries and all over the United States. In our division, we worked with teams from Belize, Quebec, Israel, Turkey, and Mexico. Students practiced different languages, won a social media bingo contest with Rev Robotics, traded robotics merchandise, experienced NASA, enjoyed the Natural History Museum, rode metro transit and did an industry tour at Chevron.
At Chevron, the group was invited to the 40th(top) floor where they learned about the energy industry including downstream, midstream and upstream operations. They chatted with managers of decade long projects costing billions of dollars, some of whom grew up in MN and one from a small town in northern Wisconsin. They also got to learn about and operate “Spot”, a Boston Dynamics robot dog, that is being trained to make rounds on oil rigs with specialized sensors to facilitate maintenance. The robotics engineers and the students noticed similar challenges between the competition and getting the robot ready to work on an oil rig.