Nerd Herd World Tour: Day 3

Posted by Debby on 27th March and posted in Cultivating Communities, Robotics, Teaching and Learning

I’m almost recovered (with emphasis on the ALMOST) from the Nerd Herd World Tour. I’m finally recouperated enough to write up the last day. We had a 15 passenger van and a car or two in our caravan, travelled about 700 miles total, visited two University of California campuses, and got to see inside a supercomputer, eat in a campus dining commons, and play on Laguna Beach at sunset among many other things. Quite a journey. Suffice to say that next time I am including a NDA as part of the paperwork to sign as our motto for this trip became “what happens in the van stays in the van!”.

Saturday morning started in Lake Forest as we kicked back and ate breakfast. Some folks played chess, while others skateboarded or just relaxed as we got ready to start the day’s activities. We then drove down to San Diego to watch the regional FIRST Robotics competition. Unbelieveable energy as teams of high school kids worked together to complete the challenge. We had the opportunity to visit with the teams from Mojave (Where’s Waldo) and Tehachapi (CyberDucks). Both were excited about the idea of working with us when we get back home and I learned more about sponsoring a high school team here in Ridgecrest. I definitely think this is something we can do!

On the way home, we stopped off at Laguna Beach just in time for the sun to set over the horizon. We spent an hour or two with our toes in the sand playing around in the waves on a perfect spring evening. A few brave people decided to jump in the water… brrrr! It wasn’t easy to drag ourselves away from the ocean and back to the van, but it was a long drive home and we had to get started. Our day ended back at Cerro Coso around midnight. I think everyone was ready for their own bed!

I need to spend some time today sending out thank you emails to our hosts along the way as well as following up on contacts and leads for future activities. There is a possibility of bringing a guest speaker to campus in the fall that I am very excited about. This was a great learning experience for all of us on many levels and I am looking forward to the next time we all hit the road (once I get some more sleep, that is).

Alec & Frank playing chess
Where's Waldo?
Robert & Ruth

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