Multimedia

Loren Holmes
6,000 people participated in the 2015 Heart Run. Hallidie Wilt and Jake Moe won the 5-kilometer race.
Tara Young

NWxjV0p3ZERvbEpJZ2tzeUh1X2RKLTZGd0JJVURpZG4=

The Nerds of the North robotics team has a saying: “'Nerd' is a four-letter word with a six-figure salary." Alaska's only FIRST Robotics Competition (FTC) team, number 568, is in its 15th year.FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was started by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and the portable insulin pump, back in 1992. Dimond High School Engineering Academy teacher Wade Roach says that Kamen thought “one of the big problems was that our young people didn’t worship scientists and technicians; they were excited about athletes and movie stars.” So Kamen came up with the idea of a sports-type competition that used engineering skills. FTC was born.Over the years FTC grew and other levels of the robotics club were established: FIRST Lego League (FLL) for younger students and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for middle schoolers, with FRC being the pinnacle of competition. The event is a spectacle, with a football field-sized playing field and giant robots. The teams compete but also work together to gain points, in something FIRST calls "Co-Opertition." Each year FIRST picks a different theme for its competition and the teams get 6 weeks to build their robots before they compete. This year's theme is Recycling Rush, where robots stack containers and collect trash (pool noodles) to gain points for recycling.Team 568 is comprised of students from Dimond, Bartlett and East high schools. It’s a chance for young people to gain skills in engineering, programing and building, but it also lets them work on their social skills. Part of the FIRST ethos is "Gracious Professionalism"; students are encouraged to share their ideas, be outgoing, and compete with respect and grace. The skills they gain not only prepare them for their future professions but for life.Electrical engineer for 568 Fred Chun talked about helping a student at Dimond High School with her electric wheelchair recently. “Her control box was broken so a friend and I went over to help her. We couldn’t have done that three years ago; we would have been confused.” But with the electrical skills he learned through the engineering program at Dimond he had the knowledge to fix her wheelchair. “It felt pretty nice too.”Team 568 is competing in the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis April 22-25. “The scope of the competition is an order of magnitude larger than anything we have experienced," says Roach. "The entire Edward-Jones Dome is filled with robots. Eight fields of 70+ teams each. Massive pit areas. It is incredible!!!”Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of our videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Bob Hallinen
Wasilla High defeated East High 9-2 in baseball Friday at Kosinski Fields.
Loren Holmes
If there was any question about whether spring has actually arrived in Southcentral Alaska, the calls of sandhill cranes should serve to remove any doubt.
Alex DeMarban
Linking climate change with severe flooding in the Alaska village of Galena, Secretary of State John Kerry laid out an ambitious agenda to address greenhouse gas emissions and protect the Arctic Ocean as he accepted the reins of the eight-nation Arctic Council on Friday, April 24, 2015, at a ceremony in Canada.
Associated Press
A documentary chronicling the lives of residents and workers in the oil-rich region of North Dakota and Montana that has created a modern-day gold rush will start airing Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel.
Bob Hallinen
Thirteen skiers/coaches/pioneers were inducted into the Alaska Cross Country Ski Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony at the Kincaid Park Chalet in Anchorage on Thursday. High school skiers modeled skiwear from the 60s to the 2000s during the event. 
Mike Dunham
The red carpet will roll out on Friday, April 24 at Valley Cinema in Wasilla when the Mat-Su showhouse hosts the world premiere of a new movie, "Moose: The Movie" 
Loren Holmes
The Anchorage loon cam is one of the more unusual reality television shows available this summer.
Mara Severin
Mike Dunham
What is surely the oldest habitable house in Alaska is for sale, a two-and-a-half story wood frame structure on Campbell Lake built around 1680.
Bill Roth
Fly fishing for rainbow trout on the upper Kenai River in Cooper Landing on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pages