Hosting League Meets, Qualifiers
We believe that in order to be successful as a team, outreach to both the community and competing teams is necessary. This season we have hosted two league meets and one qualifier to stir excitement about robotics in the community. We work hard to bring robotics competition to our local middle school. We wanted community members to see the energy at these tournaments.
Robot Block Party at MSI
“Celebrate National Robotics Week by checking out the cool ‘bots designed by Chicago-area student and amateur teams, and interacting with some state-of-the-art robots.”
Our first outreach opportunity after the 2018 Illinois State FTC tournament was in early spring, at the Museum of Science and Industry’s annual “Robot Block Party”. The MSI Robot Block Party was many team members first exposure to FIRST Robotics. It was really fun for that to come full circle and be on the other end of the event. We estimate we had over 300 visitors that drove our robot and saw demos of our Relic Recovery robot at this event. We have applied to this event again in 2019, and hope to see you there!
Flossmoor Service League House Walk at Homewood Science Center
Many local service organizations host housewalks in our community. Flossmoor Service League’s 2018 house walk had a twist, one of the “houses” attendees could visit was the Homewood Science Center – where we have our work shop. We explained FTC to the attendees, and gave them a chance to drive our robots.
“ParadeBot” is Built – Homewood 2018 July 4th Parade
In 2018 we took marching in in the 4th of July parade to the next level, we built a whole robot dedicated to it. That’s right we built “ParadeBot” equipped with 6000 mAhs of power and 1500 cubic inches of candy storage. On the 4th of July we set out with “ParadeBot” decked in patriotic attire and marched over a mile in the Homewood 4th of July parade. We tossed candy to our adoring fans and tried to avoid getting soaked by the SWAT team and their water guns.
Workshop Open Houses During Wednesday Night Farmers’ Markets
This season we had open house hours during the evening Farmers’ Market and were able to reach a different audience than the morning Farmers’ Market. We saw a lot more kids interested in our team. We saw about 120-200 attendees per event. We used our Mindcuber Lego Mindstorms robot to explain color sensors, servos, distance sensors and an algorithm for solving a rubix cube. We had DIY button making – with explanations of the press die in industry. We let attendees program a “robot” (another attendee) to travel from one end of our workshop to another to retrieve a bag of Skittles with our “Skittlebot” language, which is a series of cards with simple commands for the “robot” to follow. The most popular activity by far was getting to drive our first season’s robot, also known as Skittlebot. We had kids and adults lined up waiting to try!
PopUp Science – Bubble Bash
Later in the 2018 off-season, we volunteered at PopUp Science – Bubble Bash. We reused “ParadeBot” and turned him into “BubbleBot” by adding a bubble machine to him. We drove ‘BubbleBot” around to advertise the event. We hosted an open house during the event that was similar to our farmers market activities.