Discover STEM Days at Northwest State
Our team participates in Discover STEM Days hosted by Northwest State Community College. During this event, we showcase our team and encourage area Junior High and High School students to try one of our programs.
At these events, our team members show that our program is more than just robots. We show the other sides of our team such as outreach, marketing, social media, public speaking, design and business planning.
By showcasing more than just the STEM aspects of the team, we are able to reach out to more students and garner a greater interest in STEM.
Every year, our team showcases our robot and our programs at the Northwest State Community College Manufacturing Day. All area manufacturers meet at this event to create an interest for students to pursue careers in manufacturing fields.
Through this event, we are able to reach out to more students about the importance of STEM, and our sponsors are present to help guide students through their career options in STEM.
NSCC Community Outreach Events
Our team participates in other various Northwest State Community College outreach events. We provide robot demonstrations and information over all of our STEM programs. This includes our Jr FLL, FLL and FRC teams, our summer STEM camps, and our other after-school STEM programs.
We also use these events to educate parents about the FIRST program and encourage them to start an FLL team (if applicable) with our assistance.
Summer STEM Camps
We are proud to have helped lead 4 different summer STEM camps that reached 100+ students in the summer of 2019! These camps are offered to Junior High students who are interested in STEM. These camps are offered at a low cost to all interested students so that any student can participate regardless.
One of our STEM camps is a focus on the SumoBot competition that we use in the After-School Robotics program.
The other STEM camps focus on problem solving. We give the students a task and the basic knowledge to solve it. Then, they work in teams to develop a solution. Through these camps, we established a new FLL team for each camp by gaining student interest and educating parents on the FLL program.
At the camps, students had to use their robot to solve a maze autonomously. The robot also had to stop, pick up a cube, and transport it to a new location.
Both camps last five days ranging from 3 to 5 hours a day. Our FRC team members helped instruct aspects of these camps.
In summer 2020, we are looking to have our robots play sports such as soccer and bowling and face an obstacle course that puts their building and programming skills to the test.
During the school year, our team leads an after-school robotics programs for students in grades 3-8. This is our SumoBot program, and it serves as an introduction to FLL students who could not participate in the regular season.
In this program, we teach students the basics of EV3 design, building and programming. They design their robots to compete in a competition where they try to push each other out of a ring.
For this program, the students learn basic programming with the ultrasonic and light sensors for the EV3 robots. They program their robots to sense the outer line of the field, back up, turn and sense the other robot.
Students meet once a week for 2 hours for this program for 3 weeks. At the end of the 3 weeks, students participate in a SumoBot tournament against each other.
2018-2020 FLL Outreach
In the 2018-2019 FLL Into Orbit season, we are proud to say that we started 2 new FLL teams in our area through our summer STEM camps. This brought the total number of FLL teams in our area to 4. We continued this momentum in the 2019-2020 season by growing the size of the teams. We hope that in the 2020-2021 season we can start 2 additional FLL teams.
At the FLL tournaments in our region, we had mentors and team members volunteer. Our mentors were either coaching FLL teams or volunteering as Robot Design Judges. Our team members worked in registration, queueing, field reset, referees and even a head referee.
2018-2020 FLL Jr Outreach
We have a FLL Jr team currently entered in the lottery to go to the 2020 World Festival in Detroit. Their project was all about making grocery stores more accessible for people with disabilities.
Through our teams, students learn about their challenge as well as basic principles of engineering. At the end of the season, all students know the 6 simple machines (screw, pulley, wheel and axle, gear, lever and inclined plane) as well as the 8 traditional FIRST core values.
The students also learn how to present what they learn, and give their presentations at the informal FLL Jr expo that we host.