Beth Markel

Robots & Sculpture…I must be in St. Louis

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Beth Markel

For the last week I have been traveling from Michigan to St. Louis as part of the FIRST Robotics World Championship.  I’m a mentor for the Adambots ( and I was chosen to que the teams…which means getting them from their ‘Pit’ to the arena and onto the field of play, both in the right order and ON TIME!  A number of people told me that mentoring teenagers was like ‘herding cats’ but aside from the initial bumps in the road, it was a lot of fun, and I was able to meet kids from all over the world – the Netherlands, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Canada – as well as teams from all over the U.S.  I also met some other great volunteers from all over the country, with all kinds of interesting stories and personalities!  FIRST Robotics, started by Dean Kamen, promotes science, math, technology, problem-solving, camaraderie and ‘Gracious Professionalism.’  I was one of 800 volunteers, and there are 120,000 volunteers for FIRST around the country.  It was a whirlwind, and I am glad to be home – heading to my sewing room for the rest of the week!

There were lots of ways that I was inspired this week, but I’m attaching only a few of the photos, as they really show some of the enthusiasm the kids (AND adults) have. (

The Robot King - St. Louis, 2013

The Robot King – St. Louis, 2013

Girls & Robots Rock!


Adambot's Robot, Persephone in QuarterFinals, St. Louis, 2013

Adambot’s Robot, Persephone in QuarterFinals, St. Louis, 2013


ST. Louis is known for it’s Arch, but it has a beautiful sculpture park, Laumeier Sculpture Park ( ) as well as smaller sculptures in lots of areas – restaurants, hotels, courtyards, city parks.  I respect the copyright laws on the laumeier site, but will say.. I have a new favorite sculptor…Isaak Witkin.  His sculpture is fluid, interesting, and makes me ponder.  If you’re in the area, GO!  Reflective, calming, interesting, dynamic… OK, I could on and on, but go visit!  Because of this park, I am going to start seeking more parks like it.  I know there’s the Meijer site in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so maybe that will be next.

Finally, the streets of St. Louis were interesting as well…. there were triangles in a row like ‘Flying Geese’ and triangles/lines used as urban camo for traffic camera/lights.

Traditional Flying Geese pattern in St. Louis architecture

Traditional Flying Geese pattern in St. Louis architecture

On the streets...

On the streets…

 Be inspired this week!





Kim W on May 15, 2013

So glad you had fun. You are an inspiration all by yourself. Blessings...

Ryan Cesiel on June 8, 2013

I wish I saw this earlier Beth... these are some cool pictures and and it's a great post! The camouflaged car looks like the Cadillac ELR ( since there's a charging opening in the front of the car near the driver's door.

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