Friday, April 6, 2012

R2 and Paul visit Pembroke Elementary School

Today we made the long ride to Pembroke, Maine to visit the faculty and students at their elementary school.  To give you an idea what kind of trek this was, here's some Google Map pictures of the To and From route.  2.25 hours to Pembroke and 2.5 coming back a more scenic route...

In all fairness, we have drove longer distances for New England R2 Builder gatherings.  However those are pretty much straight interstate driving.  This was more rural and very, very scenic!

We arrived early and setup only took a few minutes.  All the recent dome work has really reduced the labor it took to line up the dome on the body, connect power and data cables and test connections.  The school principal had us head into the gym while the first of two groups filed in.

Throw me the ball!  I'm open!  I'm open!

Once the kids were all settled in, I introduced myself and R2-D2.  I kept it pretty simple since its really hard to capture a kids' attention standing next to an R2 unit!  We started off with Questions and Answers for the next 30 minutes.  The kids wanted to know how heavy R2 is, how fast the dome spins, how long the batteries last and so on.  They were disappointed that R2 does not have functional rocket boosters...but seemed impressed despite that shortcoming.

After a short break, R2 and I headed down the hall to meet the second group of students (Grade 4-8).  The older kids were very interested in the building long it took to accumulate the pieces, how they are made and how part runs work.  They were also intrigued by the costs and complexity of the build.  The teachers made the subtle point that building a droid requires all the education one can get.  Measuring accurately, cutting, mixing resins, computing angles and the radius of door all makes for better work.

Like most school events, I do not have many pictures to share due to privacy concerns.  If the parents give the OK to post pictures, the staff will share those with me.

We had a great time visiting the school and headed home along the scenic route.

On the way home, since I was passing thru Cherryfield, I dropped by to visit my friends.  Jan and Bruce Latvis hadn't met my R2 yet but Jan has been following our adventures for some time.  We unloaded R2-D2 for some picture fun...

It was a long day of driving but we made it home safely!  We don't have any events planned until May, so we can continue the work on upgrades