Thank you, Downtown Merchants.

Background: After months of designing and building the 8-cylinder T-shirt cannon, the Bozeman High School Robotics Club was ready to debut this robot, SpiTz, at the Friday night Hawks football game. After weeks of designing the club T-shirt, Thursday is the day they were ready for pick up. All is lookin’ good!

Problem: Equipment failure at the T-shirt shop – no shirts to shoot. Another wardrobe malfunction at a football game.

Solution: Getting this phone call about no shirts while sipping my chai tea at Wild Joe’s, I immediately approach Pete, the owner, and he swings into action to locate some Avalanche Bicycle shirts. I walk down the street to Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) and they donate bunches. I call Intrinsik Architecture and they find several. As I pass Starky’s Authentic Americana, I drop in to tell my tale and sure enough, several more. But that’s not all. MacKenzie River Pizza and the Country Bookshelf are eager to help, too.

Wow! What a town to live in!

Conclusion: Friday night, SpiTz was able to launch two dozen T-shirts into the bleachers and demonstrate the students’ expertise in robotics as well as the support of a great town.

The robotic cannon was designed and built at the Gallatin Valley Robotics Center (GVRC). The GVRC is a new volunteer organization that brings mentors (engineers and MSU students) together with high school students to learn about robotics and to compete in national events. More information is available online at

Thank you all!

Terry Thompson



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