Thursday, May 5, 2011

Space Day at the Challenger Learning Center!

Wednesday was Space Day at the Challenger Learning Center in Bangor (Maine).  R2-D2 and I received an request to join the festivities a few weeks ago.

This was my first event since changing over to the new sound amplifier.  It worked flawlessly.

The event had a LOT of kid and adults in a pretty confined area.  R2 was pretty much mobbed from the time we rolled in.

Somewhere in there is an R2-D2...

As usual, in a public setting like this, the kids have their hands all over R2.  The touching is fine, its the kicking, sticking fingers in lighting and yanking on things that are nerve-wracking.  Most parents are pretty good an tending to their kids.  Others, well, not so much.  I kept having to ask kids to not touch, only to have them do it over and over again.  This was one of those situations I really thought someone was going to punch out a very expensive light or break something on R2.  We rolled into another room with less people to escape the fingers for a bit!

The guests invited to the open house were many and varied.  I didn't get a chance to interact with many of them since I was busy guarding R2!  They had one of the gloves the astronauts use in space to work and a gent was there who trains astronauts.  The local news did a live broadcast at 5/530 and 6pm.

The weather didn't cooperate with heavy rain all evening long.  This made loading R2 after the event a very wet operation.

Before leaving I had a chance to interact with several students from the University of Maine and their electronics and robotic work.  It was quite something to see what they were working on (and to have FUNDING!).  They were very impressed with R2-D2 and I demonstrated how I have it all set up with the netbook, XBOX Controller and so on.  It was really fun to see their reactions to how I have overcome hurdles along the way.  They want meet up with us again and work on some ideas together.  I can't wait!