Although there were lots of really nice pictures and lots of human interest focused on one of the students in Rachel Beckman’s cover story about the Roosevelt High School robotics team (“Blood, Sweat, and Gears,” 4/14), I was disappointed in the negative tone of the article.

Like Roosevelt’s, McKinley Technology High School’s was a new team that had not competed before. Rather than mentioning McKinley’s last-place finish, it would have been better to mention the obstacles the team had to overcome just to get its robot on the floor. One of the students from McKinley was hospitalized on Thursday at the competition site (it was not related to the competition, and the student was released from the hospital on Friday). The McKinley team is to be congratulated for carrying on despite this challenge!

I am sure that the mentors and students of Roosevelt High School as well as the other teams know that this was a good beginning, and next year they will all do much better. As a senior mentor with FIRST, which organizes the robotics competition, I am working with the D.C. Public Schools, and we expect to have several new schools competing soon. This year’s rookies will know what to expect. We also expect that the students will become more interested in math, science, and engineering and adopt some of the “can do” attitude and gracious professionalism that they encounter from the mentors, from the other teams, and in the FIRST competitions.

Takoma Park, Md.