T’was the day after bag and tag and all through the school
The students were snoozing: their mouths’ full of drool.
Nut drivers and ratchets were packed up with care
With hopes of the triumphs our robot will fare.

The mentors were beat after working all day,
And the students were mindful of tests hours away.
The parents were awestruck, amazed, and amused,
But in waking their kids, they were less than enthused.

It all seemed quite well in the week that expired:
The parts were delivered, the students inspired.
But that illusion was broken with the shriek of a sound,
“We must trim the climber! It’s more than 40 pounds!”

And suddenly with this hindrance brought to light
Our climber lead Arpan was struck with a fright.
His CAD models open, he searched and he searched
To uncover the error of his climber besmirched.

In the midst of the hub-bub, some winnings were clear:
The frisbees were spun from both far-off and near,
The white colored discs slid with less than a snag.
But tensions arose when we soon had to bag.

“Now, Arpan! Now, David! Now Kim, Gavin, Sean!
“On hopper! On bumpers! Everything, on!
“Those shaft collars are loose, tighten that bolt!
“Isolate all the jaguars, or you’ll feel a jolt!”

We packed around tight to her crowded frame
And fantasized strategies for the forthcoming game.
The wrenches and pliers were needed in sharing,
All done in precision, for our mentor was staring.

And then, once compiled, I heard from the tower
The faint hum of a motor, and the buzzing of power.
As I stood back to admire our work
The bearings collapsed under far too much torque.

Draped in clear cuts of poly-carb shields
The blessing of sponsors our robot now yields.
Bundles of wires zip-tied to her frame,
And she bore a sticker of ‘Sally,’ her team given name.

Her chassis was empty, in hopes of an arm.
And her sides were well padded, to protect her from harm.
The belts were now taught and the wheels were in line,
Her walls were a jumble of wire and tine.

Space time collapsed from hours to minutes
And it passed through my mind that we might not get finished.
We weighed her again, with ply wood as a crutch
Our shoulders hung heavy; we were five pounds too much.
Our climber not fitting, we gave it the boot
Knowing full well our prowess to shoot.
With three weeks to think, it wasn’t the end.
But with midnight encroaching, we had no time to spend.

With some moments of panic and fuses that blew,
We had her bagged up by eleven fifty two
Eight minutes to spare, we hid her away
To win us a regional, one city, one day.

We danced and we laughed in a well deserved break
And topped off the night with some well deserved cake
As our mentor locked up, our captain stood tall:
“Keep up the good work, and good work to you all!”

 – Cari C