TEAM 1403 COUGAR ROBOTICS
PROJECT/ACTIVITY: Networking and Internships
Where: Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Presentation: This cougar class focused on networking and internships. Team mentors, Rachel and Mike, presented a slideshow where they discussed how to present yourself to others, whether it is a job opportunity, interview, or any other situation where you are asked to introduce yourself. Mike touched on his experience of receiving a FIRST scholarship and how that came to be. They also spoke about etiquette and rules to follow to be more impressionable with the interviewer. The team captains, Nidhi and Alice, later spoke about internship opportunities and the application process for them. Nidhi talked about speaking with peers and older team members to receive their guidance and opinions. Additionally, Alice spoke about the different components that go into applying: teacher recommendations, essays, and extracurriculars. With many of the team members in their last two years of high school, information on internships and college applications were beneficial. For the younger grades, the advice gave them something to keep in mind and prepare early on for. After the presentation, the team mentors explained the activity.
Activity: Alluding to years in the past, cougar classes have many times consisted of a Shark Tank pitch. While adjusting the activity to fit on a virtual platform was different, it was as successful as it was in past years. The whole team was split into 11 breakout rooms with a sub-team captain in each; they were tasked to identify a problem with a building and develop a solution for it. Groups were given a substantial amount of time to come up with their idea and a brief three-minute pitch to the team mentors. During the pitch, everyone in the group must participate and adhere to the time limit, which sometimes proved to be challenging. Each group came up with highly innovative ideas, and some even relating their problem to the coronavirus. Once the time had elapsed, all groups were put into the main meeting and randomly chosen to present. All the groups did a great job with their pitch, and the “Sharks” or the team mentors were very impressed. The mentors said that they would announce the winning group in the next and final cougar class.