Developing students’ passions toward FIRST is one of our team’s primary missions. We introduced FIRST to the younger generations through our FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams at the Montgomery Upper Middle School (UMS). Through sponsoring and mentoring, we hope to help the students build their interests in STEM and inspire them to join our high school team.
For the 2018 season, our team mentored two FIRST Lego League teams at UMS, Teams 26361 and 26362. Team 26361 was named the Roboclaws and team 26362 was called the Thundercats. We had 62 of our members from all different sub-teams dedicate a total of 2,045 hours to mentoring our middle-school teams. Since these members were all from different sub-teams, they provided specialized help for each aspect of the FLL competition. Whether the task required programming knowledge or formal writing skills, members of 1403 were there to help.
The process of creating the Presentation was demanding. Our Team spent hours guiding the students in the process of creating a well-rounded presentation. In the final weeks, the programming of the robot took place. It was great to see all of the members of the two teams getting involved. Many of the students had no prior programming or building experience but by the end of the season, they coded like professionals.
One of the teams, the Roboclaws, won an award for Robot Design and advanced to States for the third year in a row. Our Team was very proud of them since they were consistently productive and focused throughout the season. Even though the students were very different, we were able to see them grow into young leaders. Mentoring was a great opportunity for our team members to not only interact with the students but also meet many people from our Team. Many of them are planning to join our Team in the future and coming from all the volunteers, we believe they will be a great addition to the Team because they are innovative and intelligent.