Post FRC Season Update
Here's what we've been up to since the Power Up! competition season ended.
Our team went to the 5th annual National Advocacy Conference in DC where they met with the offices our two of our representatives (Gerry Connolly and Barbara Comstock) as well as the office of Senator Mark Warner to discuss increasing funding for after school programs, like FIRST Robotics. It was an amazing opportunity and we were able to meet teams from all over the country and share what our robotics program is like.
If anyone is interested in staying informed with FIRST's Advocacy programs they should definitely visit the website linked below and sign up for their update emails to see how you all can participate in advocacy in the future!
This summer our team had the opportunity to mentor and advise Team Slovakia for the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge: Energy Impact. It wasn't always easy, meeting with a six hour time difference, but it was well worth it to be able to work with such talented and bright students from all over their country. Their excellent engineering did not go unrecognized, and they were awarded the Technical Judges award for their unique efforts and the technical skill they exhibited in the design of their robot. We're so fortunate to have been able to work with them and hope to mentor another team next summer.
We were also able to volunteer at FIRST Global HQ in Alexandria to help package spare parts and flags that were shipped to Mexico City (where the competition took place.) It was a very fun experience for our students to test their (very limited) knowledge of the flags of the world and to oggle the REV kits (which we will be looking into for future ventures of our own.)
In August our team was fortunate to be able to meet with VHSL representatives down in Charlottesville to discuss the inclusion of Robotics as recognized academic activity. Our students were able to show off our 2018 Power Up! Robot as well as talk a little bit about what FIRST as a program is and how robotics has effected our lives. It was an amazing opportunity for our team to get to talk about role FIRST has played in our lives and the importance of recognizing robotics as an academic activity in Virginia High Schools.
STEM in 30
Our team was given the opportunity to be apart of the Smithsonian Channel's STEM in 30 episode about robotics. It was amazing to get to meet the entire cast and crew of STEM in 30 and hear about the other awesome people they’ve met through their work. We were able to share our FIRST experience and got to teach students from around the country about robotics. A month later, we were fortunate to return for a Q&A session and help answer student’s questions about FIRST and Robotics.
This competition season we are proud to fully fund, mentor and host 10 FTC teams from our Centreville Community! 3 of our FTC Teams, (Teams 10516, 11804, & 13344 ) are apart of our CREED program’s first Robotics class, another 3 of our FTC Teams, (Teams 13445,13447,&15027) are apart of our middle school outreach and include students from both Liberty and Rocky Run Middle School. Our remaining 4 FTC Teams, Teams (9830, 10414, 15025, & 15026) are our after school high school teams out of our own Centreville High School.
While it’s not always easy juggling 10 teams, the collaboration and cooperation among them all is truly inspiring and show us just how much our program and impact has grown in just 6 short years.
Centreville Robotics held a Girl Scouts STEM Badge Camp where we helped over 50 Juniors & Brownies earn their designing, building, and programming robots badges. The girl's excitement over STEM was truly inspiring and we plan to continue working with our local troops in hopes of encouraging more female participation in STEM and Robotics.
On November 3rd, our organization hosted its second annual STEM Fair at our high school. It was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with our sponsors and other STEM oriented organizations to help spread STEM throughout the Clifton and Centreville Communities. We were also able to showcase our FIRST Robots with a demonstration from last seasons FRC bot Tipsy and with a scrimmage of this seasons FTC robots where our 10 FTC teams were able to try out their robots in a competition setting for the first time this year.
The fair wouldn’t have been possible if not for the huge support from our event sponsors George Mason’s Center for Social Equity through Science Education, Leidos and Giant. We are so immensely grateful for all of the volunteers that helped us make the Fair a reality and to our wonderful mentors Dr. Holincheck and Mrs. Nelson for all their prep for the event.
On November 11th, our team hosted a Boy Scouts Robotics Badge Camp at Centreville High School. We had 24 attendees from around the Centreville/Chantilly area. Our student leaders taught the scouts about general safety, the Engineering Design Process, and basic Arduino programming. By the end of Sunday they were all able to successfully build and test a robot! All of our scouts walked away with a robotics merit badge and the knowledge of how to build a basic robot!
Things Coming up
Our team still has a couple things in store before we start our FRC season on January 5th.
We’re looking forward to hosting our first ever FTC event at Centreville High School on December 16th! If you’re interested in joining us in running the event please volunteer at the link below and email us if you have any questions
We’re excited to be attending and presenting at the FRC workshop at VCU on January 5th.
We’re working on opening a year round spirit store so that anyone anywhere can rep our team and spread our love of STEM.
We’ve got lots of plans in the making so be sure to check back soon to stay up to date!