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Robotics team holds flash mob to thank NASA

Members of Oxford High School's robotics team, TORC 2137, pose with their rockets as part of a Nov. 7 flash mob/geocaching event. They wanted to thank NASA for its support. Pictured are William Zhang, Wes McBride, Ben McBride, Leo Gengli, Drew Sedam, Eric Myllyoja, Julia Reynolds, Titus Shumaker, Evan Mince, Zach Spencer, Tyler Yuzwalk and Tommy Frank. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
November 13, 2013 - A group of Oxford High School students armed with rockets gathered Nov. 7 under the cover of darkness at the big rock near the football field.

But there's no need to alert Homeland Security or start building that fallout shelter because it was just the high school's award-winning robotics team.

The team, known as TORC 2137, conducted a flash mob to thank the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its past financial support and participate in a space-related geocaching event.

The flash mob consisted of students dancing to the song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and posing for a group photo with rockets in their hands.

TORC 2137 previously received two grants from NASA, one in 2007 and another in 2012. The latter was for $5,000.

TORC 2137's flash mob was linked to an international geocaching event involving American astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who blasted off from Kazakhstan Nov. 7 for a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

As part of his mission, Mastracchio will be doing some geocaching of his own.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates, then attempt to find the geocache (a container) hidden at that location.

Mastracchio brought a Travel Bug with him.

A Travel Bug is a trackable tag that's attached to an item. It allows an item to be tracked on The item becomes a hitchhiker when it's carried from cache to cache or from person to person. Its progress can be followed online.

Geocaching headquarters issued a "Geocaching in Space" virtual souvenir to all those who attended event caches held during Mastracchio's launch, like the one TORC 2137 did in Oxford.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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