Outreach

Nationwide FTC Community Outreach Opportunities

Nationwide FTC Community Outreach Opportunities

This is how our team reached out to the nation and created outreach opportunities around the world. Click on the link below to see what we did!

 

Nationwide FTC Community Outreach Opportunities (1)

 

 

Lance's Eagle Scout Project

What was the event?
We want to a place called Ozanam which is a home/school for kids with troubled pasts. So one of our team members had invited us to his eagle scout project. The eagle scout project was to build 4 benches and to install a life size chess/checkerboard set. The chess/checkerboard was made with white and black paver stones. The benches were not just benches but a storage unit in which to store the chess and checkers pieces. This was an great place to spread the word of our team and to inspire the kids at Ozanam that the community is with them and wants to help.

What did we do?
We went to a facility which helps kids and parents reconnect with each other and dug and placed down a giant checker board with the benches we built. We worked for a long time on digging up the ground, placing the mat, then adding the chess and checker pieces.

What were some highlights?
We learned how to put together a giant checker board, and also we got to meet a bunch of other people from all around who came to help people they didn’t even know. It was a great experience that we got to use the skills we learned from robotics in the real world and helping people.

Who did we impact?
We impacted kids who will now have fun playing checkers and chess with what we made! Ozanam greatly benefitted, as well as our teammate Lance, who got closer to becoming an Eagle Scout by doing these outreach events. Our goal for outreach is to help people by using skills from STEM and robotics, which is helping these families.

What went well at the event?

We got to meet a lot of new people and us  ed engineering skills in a real world situation that helped kids and parents have fun. It didn’t help that we had a lot of fun, too! Another example of something that went well was that we got to spend the day with boy scouts from all around kansas, using all of our skills together to make the best checker and chess board.

What did we learn?
We learned a lot about Ozanam, and what they do to help kids and parents, and we also learned about how to build benches and checker boards. We learned how to work with kids we’ve never met, and kids that we’ve never had the chance to learn their skills.

How can we improve?
The next time we could improve our time management since it took a lot longer than we expected. We could also improve our social skills, and talk to more of the kids we didn’t know instead of staying in the group we always hang out with.

Recruitment Night

What was the event?

We hosted this event as a recruitment night to let high schoolers who saw our posters and social media posts about FTC to learn about the components of FTC.

What did we do?

We had organized a few stations for each kid to go through (Outreach, Engineering Notebook, Programming, Building). This enabled us to find kids who were interested in the 4 categories of the robotics team.

What were some of the highlights?

A highlight is when we got see the kids smile and have fun at the meeting. Also seeing many high schoolers interested in joining robotics this year. We had never seen such interest until that night.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the high schoolers who came to the recruitment night because many learned about the aspects of FIRST Tech Challenge. Also we impacted them by giving them the opportunity to join FTC.

What went well at the event?

The different stations went well because it kept from crowding of one area. It gave everyone the opportunity to see each and every aspect of FTC, as FTC is not just the robot. It was also great for the mentors to meet everyone as it helped them learn names.

What did we learn?

We learned that there is a big amount of students that were interested in robotics. We also discovered that many weren’t just interested in the robot aspect of FTC but also the programming and PR aspect.

How can we improve? 

We can improve recruitment night by promoting it more at the high schools because this year we just made flyers and hung them around school. We can improve by starting to add it to our social media and being able to go to the school’s activity fair and talk to students that way.

 

Short Circuit Volunteering

What was the event?

This event was to talk and teach all about STEM, we also tried to engage 2nd to 5th graders in FIRST by using things like EV3's

What did we do?

We helped Mr. Dustin with a bunch of kids, helping them behave, learn about STEM, teaching them about FIRST and the things they can do for engineering. We discussed what roles we have in FTC, and that there’s more to robotics than just robots. For instance, we have to also do Engineering Notebook and PR is just as important as the robot.

What were some of the highlights?

Some highlights were teaching kids how to program the EV3, especially when you see them light up because they were able to program a robot and how excited that they did that. Also seeing kids working with each other, like when they were battling in Dash and Dots and had teams.

Who did we impact?

We impacted 2nd-5th graders because we showed talked about the aspects of FIRST and what we do as a FTC Team.

What went well?

At the Short Circuit camp the kids enjoyed playing with 3D Pens and Dash and Dots the most because it was easy to pick and you could see fast results. With the Dash and Dots you could do battles, race them, and program them. With 3D Pens you could be as creative as you wanted which is what kids really like to do.

What did we learn?

We learned that kids can get off track kid of easily or if they really don’t like something they won’t leave it until forced. So we learned that you have to push them in a gentle manor to go try some new things. We also learned that 3D Pens and 3D Printers are not reliable

How can we improve?

Since we know that 3D Printers and Pens are unreliable we have to always a backup plan. We also could add different stations next time so kids don’t get bored doing the same things over and over again.

 

Whole Foods

What was the event?

We went to Whole Foods, a supermarket, and then we demonstrated our robot and allowed kids to drive it. We did this because we wanted kids to have a chance to be apart of driving a robot and it was a great recruitment for our team.

What did we do?

We allowed kids to drive our robot and we fundraised for the engineering community. We also inspired kids to join robotics and for them to get involved into engineering and technology. We connected with kids and we learned about them and their interest.

What were some highlights?

A huge highlight was seeing kids who were excited about robotics and who want to do it again. Another highlight was how kids got to really experience engineering. The kids were so excited that they were doing something important.

Who did we impact?

We impacted little kids and teens who had an interest in robotics and those who didn’t know what robotics was. We also impacted us by getting kids interested in our team so we might have some new people next year.

What went well at the event?

The arts and crafts station went very well, that inspired kids that art was a very important part of robotics and engineering. At the arts and crafts station the kids learned how to make all sorts of things from cork puppets to necklaces. Another thing that went well was the driver station where kids got to drive the robot and learn how to be a driver and how fun it is. Driving the robot was a huge recruitment opportunity for our team and we were glad that we did it.

What did we learn?

We learned that we should not have brought this year's bot to the whole foods event because we learned quickly that we need to be very specific on the directions for driving the robot. Also we as a team learned about each other and we learned about some of the kids.

How can we improve?

We might have wanted to be more clear in our instructions because kids drove our robot into the wall a lot. But our robot is pretty durable so it didn’t break at the same time we have to be cautious with the robot because we broke the ladle launcher.

CAPS FLL Rumble

What was the event?

Our team, our sister team and our parent team held a First Lego League scrimmage at the CAPS center. In addition of giving the FLL teams a chance to see what competing in FLL is like, we also used it as a fundraiser for our team and our sister team, the Cobalt Colts and the Metal Mavericks. It was fun day for all us and seeing all that FLL pep, was a really exciting experience.

What did we do?

At the rumble, we also hosted a concession stand to help raise money for our team and our sister team. The people working at the concession stand jammed out to music and had a smile on their face for the whole day, as they served team's, candy, coffee, and other delicious items. We also did a raffle, the prizes a variety of lego sets. We let the teams pick out the winning ticket, and when the lucky winner came down, they had a smile on their face!

What were some highlights?

One highlight was that FTC was able to host an FTC booth on the 2nd floor where FLLers could come and check out our robot and see what the next step was after FLL. Another highlight was that we got to host a ladies luncheon where a female engineer from Black and Veatch came and gave the FLL ladies a presentation on water, which links to the FIRST Lego League theme this year, Hydrodynamics. We also used our skills in laser cutting, and laser cut the awards given to the teams out of acrylic.

Who did we impact?

We impacted a few groups that day. The first group we impacted was our CAPS Robotics Booster Club, as we had a concession stand as a fundraiser to pay for this year’s season costs. Another group we impacted was the FLL teams as they practiced for an actual competition which was a great experience. One last group we impacted was the ladies of FLL and CAPS robotics because the ladies luncheon was a great educating experience for all of us.

What went well at the event?

Our FTC booth went very well because we had a lot of kids coming up to learn about FTC and our robot was working so that was a plus! The whole event ran smoothly this year and we weren’t delayed at all because of the amount of volunteers we had this year! The teams and parents were having fun so it was a great day overall!

What did we learn?

We learned how many kids want to continue robotics into their high school years and many didn’t know that there was a high school team.

How can we improve?

Some people who showed up didn’t have a job because we exceeded in the amount of volunteers we needed so we can always improve the event by keeping the volunteer list well organized so everyone could have a job!

 

FLL Ladies Luncheon

What was the event?

The event was during lunch of the CAPS rumble. We invited all the ladies of FLL and CAPS robotics to come and listen to our guest female engineer speaker from black and veatch. After the speaker we had an activity for the ladies. The activity was trying to build a wall out of specific supplies, around a paper house so the paper house wouldn’t be damaged from the flood. At the end of lunch we had a little treat of cookies for the ladies.

What did we do?

The ladies of FTC 6547 joined the luncheon by listening to the guest speaker and interacting with the ladies of FLL. We also helped with the activity and keeping it under control. We also went around and answered questions about CAPS robotics.

What were some highlights?

Some highlights were that the female engineer was civil engineer and she worked on water plants so it worked with the FLL theme for this year, Hydrodynamics. Many girls got the opportunity to ask the Black & Veatch engineer about their project and how they could improve it.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the ladies of FLL with showing them that it is possible of pursuing their dreams of becoming engineers.

 

 

Hurricane Irma Relief

What was the event?

Recently there was a hurricane called Irma, this hurricane destroyed lots of homes and injured lots of people. We had a connection down by the virgin islands. This person's job was to deliver food and other necessities to the people on the virgin islands so we thought we could impact those who were hit by the hurricane by delivering food and necessities for him to deliver.

What did we do?

We partnered with Andy Easton, (Island Elfs)  who was on getting Geny Packs to people affected from Hurricane Irma We bought in materials like deodorant and lightweight nonperishable food items. Among those nonperishable food items we brought stuff like granola bars and ramon. We researched that we needed solid white deodorant because if it was the gel deodorant then it would melt on the virgin islands. We communicated with a person who delivers necessities to the people on the islands that were attacked by hurricane Irma.

What were some highlights?

One of the highlights was seeing our stuff that we brought in being packed and ship to the people on the Virgin Islands. That was a highlight because we got to see that we were making a difference and that was just heartwarming to see what we had pulled together to make an impact on the world.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the people on the Virgin Islands and we impacted ourselves. We impacted ourselves by seeing that we can make a difference in our country. The people on the Virgin Islands were impacted by us shipping things they needed to them.

What went well at the event?

One thing that went well was that most people brought in materials and it seemed that we did make a difference. Another thing that went well was that we got the chance to impact the people in our country.

What did we learn?

We learned about the process of how to ship goods and how to communicate with other people to make things happen. Another thing we learned was how to take responsibility of ourselves, because we had organized this with as little as possible mentor help.

How can we improve?

If we do something like this again maybe we will give the team more of a heads up and we will try to have more team members bring in materials. Another thing we would want to improve is maybe we might want to connect out to other places or other people to see if we can donate to them as well. Finally we should definitely try to get more materials and more people involved.

 

FLL JR. EXPO

What was the event?

FLL Junior is a branch of FIRST robotics. In the event, the FLL JR. teams presented their ideas about the yearly theme that was common through both FLL and FLL JR, water conservation, to the judges and showed their team model. Teams also went to look at the models and project boards of other teams.

What did we do?

As volunteers, we helped out with queuing the teams to where they needed to go and answering any questions that they may have had about what room to go to or where to find something. We also helped with checking in teams and telling them where to go set up and one of our members was also a project judge at the event.

What were some highlights?

Some of the highlights of the event were being able to see all the different teams and looking at the ideas they had come up with and what they had made with their team models. The different and colorful interpretations were fun to see and allowed us to look at FIRST robotics from a different perspective.

Who did we impact?

We mainly had an impact on the teams that attended and the parents that asked us questions about FTC and the other branches of FIRST robotics. The kids on the teams saw us and asked about our team and what we do. The curiosity with robotics was our biggest impact we created at this event.

What went well at the event?

The event went smoothly and everyone who had signed up to volunteer showed up and there wasn’t a lack of volunteers at the event in terms of FLL JR. Overall, the whole thing ran on time and according to plan and everything went as planned.

What did we learn?

The event went smoothly and everyone who had signed up to volunteer showed up and there wasn’t a lack of volunteers at the event in terms of FLL JR. Overall, the whole thing ran on time and according to plan and everything went as planned.

How can we improve?

The event went smoothly and everyone who had signed up to volunteer showed up and there wasn’t a lack of volunteers at the event in terms of FLL JR. Overall, the whole thing ran on time and according to plan and everything went as planned.

 

Barnes & Nobles Mini Maker Faire

What was the event?

We went to Barnes & Nobles, a bookstore, and demonstrate our robot and let kids drive it. We wanted little kids to get that experience of what it means to be an engineer.

What did we do?

We handed out 6547 business cards, bookmarks, candy, and stickers to spread the word about our FTC team, as we are one of the two teams in our school district. We also talked to parents about how CAPS robotics is a district thing and not a one-school thing. We also helped parents locate local FLL teams for their children that weren’t the age for FTC. We also explored the other Maker items at Barnes & Nobles and helped with those.

What were some of the highlights?

Ria and Lance got to sing along with the Beth Torah Children Choir and they sang Home on the Range and Sesame Street! We also got to work on our new robot and fine tune some things in order for it to drive more smoothly.

Who did we impact?

We impacted our community because as they came to our booth, they learned about FIRST and STEM and how important it is to have kids go into STEM.

What went well at the event?

Our robot was fully functioning at this outreach event which was awesome so we were able to let kids drive our robot. We also had space to put in the whole field which allowed kids to drive our robot in a bigger space. The game we set up worked out well because of our glyph grabber functioning!

What did we learn?

We learned that we needed to let the kids wear safety glasses as they are driving the robot because we are always required to wear glasses when we are driving the robot. We also learned to start cleaning them every time a child wore the glasses. We also learned that many kids are interested in robotics, but they don’t know about any local robotics teams.

What can we improve?

We can improve by promoting this event more by posting more to our social media and telling more people about it. We can also help more families by helping them find local robotics teams by researching and finding teams in the local area.

Community FIRST

What was the event?

Community FIRST is an event where FIRST teams all around the world come together and participate in a STEM activity in their community. We were invited by team #2096 RoboActive from Israel to participate in community FIRST this year.

What did we do?

For our involvement in Community FIRST this year, we went to Prairie Elder Care and made slime with the people there. We also played some card games with them and talked about life in general.

What were some highlights?

Some highlights were we got to participate in an international outreach, and we also got to communicate with teams around the world about their outreach. It was also great that we got to spread the word about community FIRST on our social media.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the people at the Elder Care with information about STEM and taught them things about STEM.

What went well at the event?

The slime was made well and didn’t make a mess, and the people really liked playing with the slime.

What did we learn?

We learned to be patient with the older members of the community and we also learned that if Lance was given money, he would buy a deck of cards with it.

How can we improve?

We can improve by letting team members know about the event earlier because it was during Thanksgiving break. We also want to improve by making our activity to impact more people and maybe a younger audience.

STEM Day

What was the event?

On December second, we hosted STEM day, an event where kids second to fifth graders participate in STEM activities such as coding, Dash & Dots, 3D printing and 3D pens, experiments, and more. FTC volunteers managed 56 kids all day long. We also invited a guest from Short Circuits a camp we volunteered at; Mr Dustin. He taught kids and helped them learn more and more about robots.

What did we do?

Kids second to fifth grade came to CAPS, where we first played a game, then went into stations that taught kids about STEM and engineering. They ate pizza, had a Dash & Dots competition, played outside, and learned about FIRST and how to join.

What were some highlights?

Seeing kids learning, having fun, and focusing intently on the station they were in was amazing. We not only got fundraising money, but we also had a lot of fun and learned a lot about organizing such a huge event.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the kids who came to the camp because they learned about STEM, FTC, FLL, Jr. FLL, the whole FIRST program, how to join FIRST, and influencing engineering options. We impacted the parents of the kids, who could take initiative in creating a FIRST team, and the options that grow for their child. It also impacted us, as a team, because we learned how to organize a huge event and teach kids about STEM, FIRST, and engineering.

What went well at the event?

Somethings that went very well for this day was making slime, all the water experiments, and dash and dots. The kids really enjoyed learning about what robots did. They also loved making lava lamps, making slime, being creative, and getting a little messy.

What did we learn?

We learned that kids attention spans can only last for so long and we had times where we did not have anything planned and kids went wild. We also learned that some of experiments were little too hard for out age group because they couldn’t understand what was happening. Also 3D printers are not reliable.

How can we improve?

We can improve by having a better schedule and making sure we always have back up plans for when we have too much free time. We also need to take out 3D Pens and 3D printers because they kept getting stuck and jammed.

Ronald McDonald House

What was the event?

The event was demoing our robot to families at the Ronald McDonald house and letting kids drive our robot.

What did we do?

We set up the game field and the walls and had our robot driving. We also let kids driving our robot and push blocks into the cryptobox so they could create a full row!

What were some highlights?

Some highlights were seeing the kids being happy and trying to hug our robot, Secretariat.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the families at the Ronald McDonald house by giving them something fun to do and take their minds of other things.

What went well at the event?

Many families and kids really enjoyed driving our robot and they thought it was really cool also! Also many kids tried hugging the robot and it was really adorable!

What did we learn?

We learned to be patient with the kids and also keep them away from the robot when it was driving so Secretariat wouldn’t knock anyone down!

How can we improve?

We can improve by having more team members be able to participate. We can also improve for having team members bring food items even if they weren’t coming to the actual event.

FTC Blue Valley CAPS Qualifier

What was the event?

The event was a FIRST FTC Qualifier, where FTC teams from Kansas and Missouri come to compete for a qualification to state.

What did we do?

We helped prepare for this big event by having our parents volunteer, bring in items for the concessions stand and also provide safety glasses for people going up to the pits.

What were some highlights?

We were able to compete at this qualifier, so we had a big day of fun! We used many core values like Coopetition and Gracious Professionalism when interacted with other teams. We also connected to 2 different teams, 3409 The Astromechs and 10188, Teens-N-Tech! Not only that it was a huge learning experience for us!

Who did we impact?

We impacted the teams that were at CAPS for the qualifier and our other two FIRST teams at CAPS with the fundraising done at the concessions stands.

What went well at the event?

At the event, we had many parents sacrifice their Saturdays to come help us at the event which we are very grateful for! With the Coopertition that was used at the qualifier, we were on a final alliance team with our sister team! Which brought us to be better friends and teammates.

What did we learn?

We learned new ways to connect with other teams and become friends with them! We also got a better understanding of what Gracious Professionalism is as a whole. As this day was very stressful for us we learned to relax and have fun.

How can we improve?

We can improve by promoting to volunteer more because we were short of volunteers at the event and also we can help with promoting to wear safety glasses to people coming to the pits.

 

Maker Faire

What was the event?

The Kansas City Maker Faire is held at Union Station and it is a place where STEM based booths can come and share their creations. Maker Faire celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures.

What did we do?

We went to Union station and let kids drive our robot and see what FIRST did, and what FTC has done for us. On the second day we had a maker item for kids to build. The maker item was to make a necklace with pieces we didn’t need. We used the leftover parts of the 3D printed spinners, small gears, and the packaging for the bearings we used for our spinners.

What were some highlights?

We got to see a lot of other cool engineering colleges and interests around Union Station, plus we got to talk to a lot of kids and teach them about how cool FIRST is! This was also a recruitment event for us so we recruited more kids into CAPS robotics!

Who did we impact?

We impacted kids to join FIRST and continue engineering, and we impacted parents who didn’t know about the opportunity of FIRST for their kid(s).

What went well at the event?

A lot went well, especially getting the word out about FIRST. Everyone showed gracious professionalism and support to all the kids. We were also next to another local FTC team so we teamed up with them to reach more kids and tell them about FIRST.

What did we learn?

We learned that it’s hard to explain things to kids,but by the end we all had fun teaching kids to pursue engineering and FIRST. We also learned that kids really liked our stickers!

How can we improve?

Next year, we'll know how to manage kids better, and manage positions so everyone has chances to look around the station at colleges and engineers from all around.

FLL Jr. Mentoring

What was the event?

One of our team members this year was mentoring an FLL jr. team at Lakewood Elementary School and she helped with the team’s project.

What did we do?

Our team member helped guide the Tigers with their project and also helped the team learn life skills and morales.

What were some highlights?

Being able to see the team achieve their goals and learn new things was a highlight.

Who did we impact?

We impacted the FLL jr. Team, the Tigers, with our service and help to them.

What went well at the event?

The team completed their project successfully and had a lot of fun!

What did we learn?

We learned to be patient with the little kids and how to deal kids of different ages.

How can we improve?

We can improve by having more team members mentor FLL jr. teams and spread to more schools.

Sending legos to India

Team #6547 supports a robotics lab at the Rambo School in Mungeli, Chhattisgarh, India. Last year, we sent them a starter set of LEGO NXT parts. This year we are sending more LEGO and 3d printed parts to them to support their amazing program. 

Here’s a note we received from Aswan, the robotics teacher in India:

“The kids loved the NXT kit you sent last year. Our robotics lab computers run on Linux on Raspberry Pi so LEGO NXT is hard to program. Last year we were able to procure lots of Arduinos and associated motors/servos/ sensors, LEDs etc and we are using the Snap4Arduino environment to program them.

Indeed quite a few students have started projects like trying to build automatic control systems for the pumps that draw water from the well at home, and small automatic irrigation controllers. A group of four boys built an automatic solar tracker that moves a solar panel to ALWAYS face the sun and thereby maximise its output current.

Thanks so much for writing and your offer of sending more LEGOs. At this time, I think the most useful parts for us would be Technics parts.  Beams, holes, connectors etc.

One of the biggest problems I am facing is how to get kids to BUILD actual robots from scratch. Thanks to the LEGOs we can build the structures but connecting them securely to actuators like servos and motors is turning out to be a real challenge. I have tried hot glue/cable ties/ lashing wire without much success. I think 3D printing can really help us out here.

-Aswan”

From this our team took the initiative to find servo mounts that were LEGO compatible, improved those models, shared them on thingiverse.com, and printed a supply of custom LEGO servo mounts for our friends in India.