P-MAN XIV Update #28 - A capital idea, presented at the Capitol

25 April 2012

On Tuesday, April 24th, the Stockbridge ROV team made a presentation to the Michigan House of Representatives' Energy and Technology Committee. Representative Mike Shirkey is Stockbridge's elected representative and a big supporter of the ROV team. He asked that they present their story to his colleagues to show what high school kids can do with a bit of outside support and encouragement (that would be us) and a school system that 'thinks outside the box' (that would be the Stockbridge schools). They were allotted fifteen minutes on the calendar but their story captivated everyone on the committee and they were allowed to present for 30-35 minutes. Each team member spoke before the committee. Since they lived this experience rather than just read about it from books, their presentation was professional, entertaining and to the point. Looked as if they practiced this for hours. However, during the morning prep session at the high school, I watched Bob Richards ask for volunteers to talk about each of the slides they showed to the committee members. This was their only practice session, assigning who would speak. Amazing what young adults can accomplish when they are engaged and motivated.

The chairman of the committee invited us to stay to listen to natural gas issues in Michigan, a topic certain to pique anyone's interest level, but the kids had to return to school to study for AP tests so I missed out. Here are some photos from the day's festivities:

The Stockbridge ROV Team, L-R: Jenny, Cody, Brianna, Barb, Scott, Wes, Taylor and Buck.

Wes and Representative Shirkey with Dingar

Representative Shirkey presenting a tribute to Brianna. All of the team members received a tribute letter.

Dingar and the full committee

Jenny, Bob Richards, Josh Nichols and Taylor during the presentation.

The whole crew outside the conference room, missing natural gas discussions. Damn.

And no photo op is complete without Wes and 'the person of interest.'

P-MAN XIV has now drawn to a close. But P-MAN XV is about to start. In ten months and three weeks, we'll be heading back to Palau and between now and then, we have our work cut out for us. We need to make a trip to The National Archives for more research. We need to figure out how to better utilize underwater equipment to see what's on the ocean bottom where we've gotten side-scan sonar images of interest. We need to see who's interested in returning to Palau. The Stockbridge ROV team has already expressed interest in returning and improving their vehicle. Half the team (Scott, Taylor, Cody and Wes) is graduating and heading off to college. But the rest (Jenny, Barb, Brianna and Buck) are ready to take on some new members and leapfrog their own accomplishments in the field. So until we have something cool to report, have a great 2012 and we'll pick up the story next year when we're about to head out west again.

- Flip Colmer

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