Overview of Outreach Events
Saints Robotics hosts practice scrimmages for FLL teams to see what the qualifier will be like. These scrimmages helped the teams prepare for the actual competition and gave them feedback on their projects, FIRST core values, and robots. We structure it so that it simulates an actual FLL competition, with multiple teams competing, and using the same judging rubrics as are used in the actual FLL competition, helping these teams discover where they stand in the competition and how they can improve.
Saints Robotics helps to host FLL Qualifiers, working together with FIRST to provide volunteers and organize the event. Our team helps set up for the competition in the morning, signing teams into the competition, and setting up their home bases, where the teams congregate when they are not competing. During the actual FLL competition, our team members help set up the competition field, serve as runners to get judges supplies, get the teams ready for competition, and serve as the announcer for the competition. After the competition was over, we helped take down the competition field and clean up the facility being used.
Mentoring FIRST Teams
Our team helps to mentor FLL and FTC teams in our area. Our volunteers go to these teams’ meetings and aid them in learning how to build a robot, starting with the basics of robot design, and moving to programming and execution. We also accompany these teams to the FLL and FTC competition, assisting them when something goes wrong, and teaching them how to work together as a team. By mentoring these teams, we are hoping to set them up for success in future STEM clubs like ours.
December 9-10, 2017: Saints Robotics helped FIRST Washington to host the 3rd annual FIRST Lego League (FLL) qualifier, hosted at Chinook Middle School for the local western Washington FLL teams. We helped to set up the competition; preparing the team pits and playing fields. During the competition, our members had to judge, direct, and organize over 40 FLL teams. We assisted by helping reset fields, manage teams, and take part in judging the teams. We even had our own MC, who commentated during the robot competition portion of the event which was split from the judging portion in the morning. We did this for both Eastside FLL Qualifiers, helping a total of over 80 teams, providing over 20 volunteers that helped in all aspects of the competition.
November 19, 2017: Saints Robotics hosted a practice scrimmage at Interlake from 9:30 A.M to 1:30 P.M for FLL Teams in the auxiliary gym to practice for the FLL competition later in the year. We had around 11 teams sign up and attend, with a total of 58 total students and 17 volunteers from our team helping with judging the project, robot design, and helping with the playing fields.
Every day during the FLL and FRC seasons, Saints Robotics members use their own time to mentor four FLL teams: Green Jelly Beans, Highland Middle School Robotics, Clueless Five, and Woodridge Robotics Club. Historically, we have founded and helped private and public teams throughout our community, and we encourage people of all subteams and even people outside our team to help mentor an FLL team. In mentoring FLL teams, we teach even after build season. Our embers teach elementary schoolers by teaching them the required principles and having them work through the task using those principles, instead of simply telling them what to do. We have helped found and mentor 14 FLL teams in the last 6 seasons, many of which have advanced to the regional and national level and have also gone on to FTC and FRC. Our unique way of teaching encourages independence, self-driven learning and FIRST values, in the way that we teach kids to embrace challenges and deal with setbacks, and are working to teach the next generation to proficiency in STEAM skills and concepts.
November 20, 2016: Saints Robotics hosted a practice scrimmage for FLL teams to see what the qualifier would be like, with around 7 teams who showed up and 10 volunteers from our school helping with every aspect of the competition.
December 3-4, 2016: Saints Robotics helps FIRST Washington to host a FLL competition/qualifier at Chinook Middle School for the local western Washington FLL teams. This was a two day event that lasted from 7 A.M to 7 P.M, with around 30 volunteers from our team helping FIRST host this team for all teams in western Washington.
FIRST Lego League Qualifiers
December 12-13, 2015: Our team held our first FLL Qualifier where we helped FIRST set up, take down, and run the event, with our team providing volunteers to help things run smoothly. This even was a huge success, with our team getting involved with many aspects of the event, from the judging of the CORE values to the resetting of field pieces. Our team had a lot of fun coordinating this event with FIRST and watching the FLL teams have fun and learn during this competition, and we hope to be able to host many more in the future.
FIRST Lego League Teams
As part of our effort to promote science and technology among children, Saints Robotics started five FIRST Lego League Teams (FLL) teams in the past, in elementary and middle schools throughout Bellevue, Washington. Two of these teams are at Highland Middle, two are at Bennett Elementary, and the other team is at Spiritridge Elementary. These teams participated in the 2011 challenge: Food Factor. This mission was to improve the quality of food by finding strategies to prevent food contamination. These teams designed and programmed robot missions related to this theme, as well as created research projects to tackle the issue of food safety.
At the Bellevue Regional FLL competition, the Leggo Leaders won the Strategy and Innovation Award while Bulldog Robotics won the Gracious Professionalism Award.
The Leggo Leaders
FLL Team #14040
FLL Team #14041 and #14045
Highland Middle School
Highland Robotics and Team Highland
FLL Team #14288 and #14266
See more photos on Flickr.
FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament
Saints Robotics hosted the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championships in January 2012. We acted as the liaison between the school district and FIRST staff in coordinating the logistics for space rental and setup as well as provided numerous volunteers key to making the event successful. Our media team also supervised the creation of a slideshow showcased at the event, and is now accessible online for teams to show to their sponsors and schools.
We volunteered at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championship on January 16, 2011.
Saints Robotics helped to make the event run more smoothly. A few of our members managed the information desk and answered any questions that the FTC teams had about the competition, while other members gave every team a reminder before their scheduled competition time. In addition, a few Saints Robotics members reset the FTC fields after every match was played, and then helped to tear down the fields at the end of the day.
There are more photos of the event from our Flickr page.
In September 2011, Saints Robotics was chosen to represent the FIRSTWA (FIRST Robotics Regional Representative) in receiving a charity donation from the Seattle Seahawks and Bonneville Seattle. Recordings of the interviews that were held with members of the team aired on Bonneville Seattle Radio, and tours of Saints Robotics team meetings were coordinated for representatives from Seattle Seahawks, FIRSTWA, and Bonneville Seattle. After being interviewed, Saints Robotics was presented a $2000 check on behalf of FIRSTWA. FIRSTWA was featured as the charity of the month on KIRO News.
Mentoring FIRST Robotics Competition Teams
During the 2011 build season, Saints Robotics mentored FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) rookie team 3663, team CPR from Cedar Park, Washington. We answered all of their questions about the FRC game through our private forums, and gave them many tips to help them get a head start on the competition. We were also available to answer any of their questions at the Regional competition itself as well.
In addition, we mentored team 3574, another rookie team, in the middle of the 2011 build season. We gave them many parts, shared our strategies, and helped them with pre-inspection before they shipped their robot for the competition. With our help, they were able to create a new minibot deployment system that would not have to be red-carded. We are glad to have helped team 3574 win both the Rookie Inspiration and Rookie All-Star award, and as a result, they were able to go to St. Louis to compete in the World Championships.
FIRST Lego League Tournament
In 2011, we volunteered at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Regional Tournament held at Highland Middle School in Bellevue, WA. We registered all of the teams and answered the teams’ questions at the information desk. During the competition rounds, we made sure that the standing spectators did not obstruct the view from the stands. In addition, we helped award the Jr. FLL medals.
In 2010, we refereed for the Crossroads Cup in Bellevue, WA. At the event, we also set up a Saints Robotics booth and answered any questions that passersby had about our robotics club. At the competition, we gave students a heads up on the future competitions they can join, including FRC.
In addition, we volunteered at the 2010 regional FLL competition and escorted people to the competition rooms. We brought our VEX robot to the competition and drove it around the gym. Many spectators were interested in our demonstration, which gave us a great opportunity to answer any of their questions about robotics including VEX and FRC.
Pre-Season Robotics Workshop
During the 2011–12 season, Saints Robotics was given the opportunity to give presentations at the pre-season DigiPen FIRSTWA robotics workshop. Teams from across the state flocked to the workshop to learn some helpful tips about robotics. We gave a presentation on the Chairman’s Award where we reflected on how we were able to win the award in our 2011–12 season. Through the pre-season workshop, teams acquired confidence and were more prepared for the upcoming build season. In addition to the presentation, our media team helped to organize the event’s live streaming of the presentation, which was a great opportunity for members to dabble in video taking rather than just photography.