January 2002 highlights

Monday, January 28th, 2002
Our new year  began with a visit from Eric's Aunt Royce and Uncle Bill.  We had fun visiting and building a miniature hot air balloon, which we tried launching from our back deck, using hair dryers for heat.  It rose a couple of feet, but we ended up laughing more than making any scientific progress.

A few days later, the freezing weather burst several pipes in our home; fortunately a neighbor came to our rescue and the damage was greatly reduced. At the same time, we found out that our septic system had been improperly designed and that our main underground pipe had collapsed. The repairs required that a 7' deep trench be dug (by hand) to replace the pipe. Several thousand dollars later, the repairs were completed. Eric now knows more about plumbing than he ever wanted to.

Eric continued his outreach to kids to inspire them to explore science and technology.  This year, he volunteered to be one of the mentors for the Frazier Mountain High School Robotics Team.  He was one of the mentors that helped teach the students to build and program a robot to compete against other schools' robots.  This was fun for Amy and Wendy as they were often able to attend the meetings with their father. This wasn't the type of competition you see on television, where the intent is to damage the other robots.  Each team is challenged to score as many points as they are able, while doing several activities.   You can see some more of Eric's robotics activities at ICA Robotics.