On October 6th, 2014, twelve members of the FIRST Team 1403 Cougar Robotics team gave a presentation at Village Elementary School to Boy Scouts of America Troop 46. The purpose of the presentation was to introduce the principles of FIRST and describe Team 1403 to members of our community. This was an opportunity to encourage the younger students throughout the district to partake in the FLL teams and our team to gain experience with STEM, FLL, or FIRST LEGO League, which is essentially a scaled-down robotics program for elementary and middle school students.
The presentation began with an introduction to FIRST from our Team Captain, Akshay K., and Team Manager, Tiffany L. They mentioned the importance of the concepts: Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Then Akshay talked about our accomplishments as a team and participation in outreach events. Lastly, our leaders talked about the structure of our team, explaining the separation into a team side and robot side, which has been the most effective for our team in the past year.
After the PowerPoint presentation, our robot manager, Justin N., described to the scouts how our robot functioned, and explained the process of building and designing last year’s robot. Although most scouts didn’t know the terminology he was using, they all were intrigued and particularly curious about the shooting mechanism. He also explained last year’s game, Aerial Assist, and highlighted the goals that our team tried to focus on such as speed and strength.
The last part of our presentation consisted of an interactive session between team leaders and the scouts. Team members and scouts discussed with each other the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Also, the scouts had a chance to ask questions to team members about the function of the robot, what the team does at competitions, and how the team spreads STEM ideas. It was a great experience for our team members to meet with the scouts, see their interest in STEM, and encourage some of them to participate on FLL or FRC teams in the future. Many scouts expressed interest in joining our team in the future, not including the numerous Boy Scouts already involved in Cougar Robotics.