DI day 4- the day of the big performance. The event that we have been working for since last year. The kids woke up nervous and very excited for the performance, in the DI world called the main challenge. Main challenge is a combination of an acting/interpretive performance while also testing your engineering chops through making testing a newpaper and glue structure that cannot weigh more than 75 grams (less than a pound) with the purpose of holding as much weight as possible. Anyhow, the kids have practiced their performance so many times they could do it in their sleep. In addition, we probably built more than 20 structures along the way, the best being the one that was crushed at the California state competition that held 600 pounds. They have performed it many times in competitions and for groups trying to fundraise, but this was, as they say, the big show so the nerves were there. Here they are before going on:
And on with the show...
All the coaches/dads agreed that this was the best performance that we had seen. There are several funny portions including Trevor's "I'm going commando!" (Ask me sometime and I will explain). A lot of people watching the performance said that it was the funniest one they had seen. The kids all felt really good about it, which is how you want to finish off. Unfortunately, their structure, did not hold the same amount of weight as we did at state, only 330 pounds but you live and learn.
With the performance done, it was time to blow off a little steam. What better way then by making a jib jab style music video? (Yes, we have copies to show everyone!)
We had to get in on the action ourselves, you know how Matt can't pass up on an opportunity to sing loud in public places.
Next, we kept ourselves busy by doing some of the fun competitions that DI had set up, first a physical activity put on by the NFL and then one put on by the 3M company called aftershock. The dads (and moms) took advantage of the down time to relax a bit. Here's Kari and Robb, ahem, resting a bit on the floor of the Knoxville Convention Center...
We knew that the Mom's would not be entirely happy if we didn't get some more pictures of the kids and team so we then set out around town to find some good spots for pictures. As you can imagine, the kids were just ecstatic to be taking yet more pictures, just look at the excitement on Trevor's face.
All the picture taking (and complaining about picture taking) got everyone a little hot and bothered so we headed down to "the geysers" as the kids called them, down at Knoxville's "World's Fair" park. Here's some action shots
Trevor, Elder and Emma in a battle royal...
And my favorite...
We got back to the dorms in time to clean up a bit before heading to dinner and then the big closing ceremonies. The team was buzzing with anticipation thinking about being announced winners, I mean, why wouldn't they, they won every other time right? We debated telling them that there really was not much of a chance of placing high with the weight that our structure held, but decided to just let them ride it out. They did some fun activities before going on to announce winners.
Some other sights and sounds of the closing ceremonies
Well, no 1st place finish this time. We found out after the awards that we ended up placing 33 out of around 62 teams. Not what we were hoping for, but not entirely unexpected. The kids were definately a little deflated, but they perked up during the after ceremony party. We had to snap one more picture of the group while we were all together in our California Di shirts.
The shirts were quite a hot item, Trevor and I must have been asked about 20 times if we would be willing to trade our shirts with another state or country for a pen or other items. Not wanting to walk around without our shirts off all night, we decided against it.