The Great Chili Cook-off is an annual event that was held on October 31 this year and hosted by The Rotary Clubs of Mooresville Lake-Norman, Mooresville, Top of the Lake and Troutman to benefit local charities. Top of the Lake Rotary Club president, Jeremy Katz, invited Team SPORK high school robotics team to provide some reliable hands and feet to support the event. The event raised $50,000 and had tons of fun things to enjoy like listening to the Back Road Band, shopping at local vendors booths, eating treats from local vendors and of course, tasting 50 different recipes of chili. Kids had their own “zone” to play in where some of our Team SPORK seniors volunteered their help. Team SPORK volunteers also spent the first part of the event running between competing chili vendors delivering cups, napkins and whatever else a chili contestant needed. Of course, none of that kept them from trying all of the chili too!
On October 10, our team had the chance to present at a Mini Maker Faire. A small group of us journeyed out to Charlotte’s Discovery Place with our trusty old Shooter McGavin from Rebound Rumble. We displayed our homemade 3D printers and created Team SPORK logos to give out, along with our pins and flashlights. While children fell in love with our robots and printers, parents and educators from other cities, counties, and even states fell in love with the program. We talked to countless individuals about starting their own Jr FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC teams in their own schools and communities.
On October 9 and 10, Team SPORK traveled to Reidsville High School in Reidsville, NC to participate in NC THOR. NC THOR is an off-season competition and a good way to reconnect with other FRC teams. On October 9 some team members went to unload SPORK-Lift and our pit. Later, they attended the social where team members got to play games with other teams and make friends. Team SPORK initiated a Twister tournament among the present teams and took part in a very serious games of Jenga.
The next morning more team members drove to Reidsville to help and support SPORK-Lift in the competition. We competed with other North Carolina robotics teams in qualification rounds immediately, which gave us a chance to train for quick competitions and working with others. This was our first of-season event in a few years, and gave us a chance to re-kindle relationships with North Carolina teams and develop new relationships with other teams. We look forwards to next year’s competition, as well as the 2016 THOR event.