Monday, May 16, 2011

I just finished The New Cool by Neal Bascomb.

The New Cool details one team's competition in the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition. Along the way, it also gives lots of good info about Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, and his quest to re-invigorate the esteem science and technology has in the US.

I've been a volunteer with FIRST for many years, first for the FIRST Lego League, then for the FIRST Tech Challenge and last year for the FIRST Robotics Competition.  Every year it has been inspiring to see the passionate and talented kids create, compete and present their work to the judges. As such, I'm probably a little biased but I thought this was a very good book.

Bascomb does a good job of presenting the personalities involved, from the inspirational, hard driving teacher/mentors to the kids, who are involved for all kinds of reasons. The one thing I would be concerned about with this book is if it is just preaching to the choir. Will people who are not already involved with FIRST or teams find this book, and find it as compelling as those who are involved?