School ARDF
2016-05-28, Spring #2
Event Report

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Our second full ARDF course! We had a super fun day. It was sunny and hot in the open but quite a bit cooler in the woods. Five teams went out to search for foxes. In total, we had 11 participants (7 middle school students, 4 family members). All middle schools were invited and we had participants from Culbreth, Phillips, and Smith middle schools. Very exciting. We also had Dale Haiducek (CTE teacher at Phillips) come to support us and learn more about ARDF.

Like last time, we modeled an 80m classic ARDF event. It was shorter than regular classics but a full course in the sense of having five foxes and a homing beacon. The optimal (straight line) course length was 2.3 km. We calculated one good route using mostly trails to be 2.8 km. The participants had a time limit of 120 minutes instead of the 90 minutes used during the last event. And again, we had plenty of participants who decided to stay out as long as they could.

Unlike last time, we were ready on time, and we even got the class started early. Some more experienced participants opted to skip the class and got on the course early. But something always goes wrong. Somehow, fox #3 was off-time. Arggghhh! >:( It was coming on at the same time as fox #2. We got it fixed fifteen minutes after the last start but it was a bit late. Yet, even with fox #3 stepping over #2, most participants still found #2.

A hearty thanks goes out to the middle school teachers that answered our call and helped get the word out: Brian Tyson (Science Teacher, Culbreth Middle School), Christine Lippy (Science Teacher, McDougle Middle School), and Dale Haiducek (CTE Teacher, Phillips Middle School). We especially thank Dale Haiducek for coming out to support us at the event.


We are listing the participants by start time instead of running time because all the participants are still learning the basics of ARDF. But it's worth mentioning the outstanding performance of Ethan Rayala and Noah Frahm. They found every transmitter except for fox #3 that was transmitting out of sequence. They even reported a strange echo (fox #3) while listening to fox #2. The finds column notes the controls found: foxes 1 through 5 and home (H). The time column notes the time spent on course. The schools are abbreviated Culbreth (CMS), Phillips (PMS), Smith (SMS).

entry #participants (school, grade)findstime
1 Ethan Rayala & Noah Frahm (SMS, 8th) 1 2 4 5 H 103'
2 Xavier Woodley and his mother (PMS, 6th) H 93'
3 Max Nelson and Evan Alfieri (CMS, 6th) 2 H 106'
4 Sam Kornylak and his grandfather (PMS, 6th) 2 H 98'
5 Spencer Gordon, his mother, and a sibling (PMS, 6th) 2 H 84'


Unfortunately, all of Mrs Sears' pictures came out blurry. So there is no higher resolution for those. The group picture was taken with a different camera and clicking on it will bring up the original full-sized version.

Group picture just before the class. We missed a few people that arrived just after the class had started. Generally going left to right: Xavier and his mother; Mrs Sears at front table; Noah and Ethan (2nd row); Sam and his grandfather (1st row); Evan and Max (3rd row).

Noah and Ethan making their way from the homing beacon to the finish. They found every fox except for the one that had been transmitting out of sequence.

Xavier walking back from the course.

Xavier and his mother at the finish bell.

Spencer's mother just after passing by the finish bell. Sorry we missed getting a picture of you Spencer.

Left to right: Sam, his grandfather, and Max coming down the trail by the homing beacon.

Left to right: Max, Sam, and Sam's grandfather in a post-hunt discussion.

All the pictures can be downloaded as a single tarball here (3.0 MB): 20160528-pictures.tar.gz. But note that when I right-clicked the link and used 'save-as', the downloaded file ended up with extra bytes and failed to unpack. This happens when downloading from the GoDaddy server but not from our home server. I don't understand why this is happening. I'm still making the file available because downloading it using wget does work.

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