During the summer, we were invited by Qualcomm to demonstrate our 2016 robot to elementary and middle school kids at their three “Bring Your Child to Work” days. We exposed the kids to STEAM, robotics, and business management principles and also described them about this year’s game, FIRST STRONGHOLD. By making our presentation relatable to their age, we kept the kids engaged and answered their many questions about our team. They were super excited to shoot the ball with our robot and catch it.
Student Interest Presentation
In August, we went to our main school, Wake STEM Early College High School (STEM ECHS), and also to Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy (WYWLA) to look for potential recruits. Many of the incoming freshmen at STEM ECHS were captivated by our 2016 robot and wanted to know more about the team. We described both the Business and Engineering Divisions of our team and emphasized that FIRST is “More than just Robots!”
Near the end of August, we went to the NC State University Packapalooza to demo our 2016 robot and introduce our team to the many college students and families, some of which could have been possible mentors or sponsors. About six members of the team worked in shifts to show off the robot’s capabilities to onlookers and taught many kids to drive the robot and shoot the ball. Some students and mentors gave a brief introduction about our team and FIRST. We were surprised by the number of FIRST alumni who all came to visit our booth. Some alumni and college students even signed up to mentor our team for the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition!
In October, we went to WebAssign’s office on NC State Centennial Campus to show workers there about FIRST and how our team functions. There, the workers were given a short presentation on FIRST and our team, specifically our goals and community outreach activities. Audience members were able to get one-on-one time in which they could ask our team members questions or interact with the robot. Many of them seemed very interested and enjoyed looking through the team’s pit binders to learn more. They were also eager to provide some ideas for our team and encouraged that we come again next year.
Note in the Pocket Fundraiser
From November to early December, we participated in a fundraiser in collaboration with Note in the Pocket, a local nonprofit organization that provides clothing to needy children in Wake County. With the weather getting colder, the team was determined to collect lots of change by sharing the word to parents, student members, alumni, and mentors. We hope that by participating in this fundraiser, we can make a lasting impact in our community and continue to help out with various humanitarian causes in the future.
Habitat for Humanity
On November 19th, some of the students went to a location near Neuse Ridge Road to work on painting a house with other volunteers. Those who participated got to improve their painting skills and were directly involved on a project for the community. By noon, the painting was mostly done and it was time to start putting up doors using power tools, however, some members were not old enough to participate in this activity. In the end, everyone seemed very interested in participating and had a great time showing the community that robotic teams can do more than just build robots.