Overview of STEMducation
As a robotics club, we have hosted STEAMducation (STEAM education) sessions at local elementary and middle schools where members of our club teach 4th through 6th graders basic concepts through hands-on activities, spurring interest in STEAM. For elementary schools, we teach the basics of electric circuits, and in middle schools, we start will FLL, and then have the students go beyond what they have learned in a personal project. Through these sessions, we have helped them accomplish tasks they start by themselves, such as building a gumball machine or a lego-shooting tank, by teaching them STEAM concepts relevant to their task. To the students, we are mentors in the way that we ask guiding questions to focus their learning, but do not intrude on their self-discovery and learning. This program is entirely member-run, which gives members great communication and teaching skills, and exposes students to a side of STEAM that they might not experience very often. We’ve done STEAMducation in almost every elementary school in the Bellevue School District, teaching upwards of 600 students a year in their normal classroom setting. We help students see what they could potentially accomplish, which builds efficacy, and we emphasize small improvements every iteration of a design. Through STEAMducation, We also encourage the next generation to personally engage in foundation of science and design technology at an early age.
Saints Engineering Robotics Camp:
In terms of personal team outreach, the Saints Robotics Club has coined its STEM program as SERC, a one week summer day camp session at local elementary schools. The learning events are staffed by student volunteers from inside and outside our club. The students, 4th to 6th graders, learn the basics of FLL through EV3 and NXT. The schedule of the program includes chassis building on day one and subsequent units on line-following, fishing with sensors, computational thinking and principles of engineering. Hundreds of kids have tried our courses and they have unanimously replied with extremely positive reviews due to the simplicity of the course, yet depth of learning through STEAM. The challenges the students encounter help them build efficacy with their work, while encouraging them to take up futures in STEAM through FLL. The camp began in 2011 and ever since it has been an amazing student-led experience even for those who may have never encountered STEAM education.
Our team attended and plans to attend multiple science fairs at middle and elementary schools to share information about our team and hopefully peak the interests of the kids who are there in the field of STEM. At these science fairs we showcase the robot that we used at the previous competitions and explain how the robot works. We also explain the process we went through in making the robot, all in hopes of inspiring these kids to join robotics or STEM in the future.
- May 17, 2018: Cherry Crest Engineering Night
- March 23, 2018: Ardmore Elementary School STEM Night
- November 16, 2017: Phantom Lake Elementary School Science Fair
Saints Engineering Robotics Camp
July 24-28, 2017; July 21 – August 4, 2017: Our team held a Saints Engineering Robotics Camp (SERC) run by Team 1899 at Highland middle school provided children from first to fifth grade a hands-on opportunity to build and program a robot. We accept kids from elementary and middle school, and actively advertise this summer camp to all these schools in the Bellevue School District. We work mostly with Lego Mindstorms and we teach the campers how to use this technology as well as help them implement a well structured and thorough design so that their robot can complete a set of challenges given to them.
Our team attended multiple science fairs at middle and elementary schools to share information about our team and hopefully peak the interests of the kids who are there in the field of STEM. We showcase our robot that we used at the previous competition and explain to them how the robot works and how it competes in the FIRST competition. We also explain the process we went through in making the robot, all in hopes of inspiring these kids to join robotics or STEM in the future.
- June 9, 2017: Woodridge Carnival
- May 5, 2017: Ardmore Elementary School Science Fair
- May 5, 2017: Woodridge STEM Day
- April 26, 2017: Bennett Elementary Science Fair
Saints Engineering Robotics Camp (SERC)
In the summer of 2011, the team held their first robotics summer camp at StudentRND, which was targeted towards 3rd through 5th graders. At the camp, the campers split into groups where they built and programmed their own Mindstorm NXT robot, which they then tested and competed with at the end of the day in a make shift game we created. As a side project, we also dedicated some time to make bristlebots, a robot made from the head of a toothbrush and a cell phone motor. The campers where given a chance to race against each other and then got to take home their bristlebot as a souvenir. The camp was a great success, and helped lead into the founding of our five FLL teams for the next season. We have continued to host this camp every single year to date, and hopefully can continue this tradition of outreach.
Ardmore Elementary Science Fair
April 21, 2016: Saints Robotics went to Ardmore Elementary School to help out at their science fair. We showcased our robot on their stage, with our head of Public Relations serving as the MC. Our team brought two of our past competition bots to demonstrate on stage, and after we were done, we let the kids come onto the stage and interact with our robot, looking at the wiring and construction of the robot, and even let them get close to the robot as it was moving, with safety glasses of course!
Bennett Elementary Science Fair
April 4, 2016: Saints Robotics again attended Bennett Elementary School’s annual science fair to promote robotics. We bring our FRC robot as well as our VEX robot and show it to the students at the science fair. This is a great way to introduce students to robotics because it captures their interest early on. We even allow the children to drive the robot and explore its features. Many students ask how they can join, and many parents ask how they can get involved. Through our efforts, many people have shown interest in robotics. We will continue to promote science and technology in the years to come.
Cherry Crest Elementary Science Fair
May 27, 2015: Saints Robotics sent around 15 people to help showcase our robot to the attendees of that science fair. We showed people how the robot works and how our team operates, from programming of things to the structure of designing and prototyping our robot. A lot of elementary students came to check out our team and were hopefully inspired to participate in STEM in the future.
Franklin Elementary Science Fair
March 1, 2012; March 10, 2011
Saints Robotics went to Franklin Elementary School’s annual science fair. At the event, we gave over 150 students the opportunity to drive and interact with our robots. We let them draw on a giant canvas with our remote control Scribbler robot. We also had a station where they could interact with our walking robots that use two motion sensors to detect objects. Students who were really interested in robotics were introduced to computer programming with our NXT’s, and they successfully programmed a robot to drive through a maze.
Newport Heights Elementary Science Fair
April 14, 2011: Saints Robotics went to Newport Heights and introduced hundreds of elementary school students to the FIRST Robotics program. During the event, we allowed students to drive our VEX robot and introduced them to robotics technology. We also showed the students videos of our robot, our other outreach programs, and the FRC competition.
Phantom Lake Science Fair
April 16, 2015; April 19, 2012
Saints Robotics went to Phantom Lake Elementary School to showcase our robot to elementary school kids, and share our knowledge about STEM with the younger generation. We showed them the inner workings of the robot, explaining to them how the wiring worked and the overall key components in building that years robot. We also let them touch and interact with the robot, giving them a more hands on experience with robotics.
Somerset Science Fair
May 15, 2015: Saints Robotics participated in the Somerset Science Fair, showcasing our robot and explaining how to build/design it to the kids who came to our stand. We let the students interact with the robot, and showed how our robot interacted with the competition field of that season by bringing game pieces to the science fair, like totes. We required kids to wear safety glasses when working around the robot, and taught them the safety procedures we go through when handling the robot.
Woodridge Elementary Science Fair
March 3, 2014; March 2, 2010
Saints Robotics went to Woodridge Elementary Science Fair to showcase our robotics program to the elementary school students. During the event, we introduced many students to VEX Robotics and let them build a simple SquareBot. We also demonstrated the importance of center of mass when designing robots.
Activities for Boys and Girls Club
During the Spring Break of 2012, Saints Robotics was invited to demonstrate our robots at the Kirkland Boys and Girls Club. Aside from exhibiting our FRC robot to the kids, we created an immersive experience where we introduced the children to the ins and outs of the STEM fields. All of the children had a blast while learning to drive our Vex robot, building crafts to demonstrate the concept of center of gravity, and solving various logic puzzles. They even learned how to program a Scribbler robot to write their names!
Demonstrations for Girl Scouts
On January 3, 2011, Saints Robotics held an interactive demonstration for a local Girl Scouts troop to promote science and technology. Our Helping Hounds Program aims to educate the youth of our community about robotics technology to open up these children to careers in engineering and math. During the demonstration, we allowed them to program our NXT’s, draw with a remote control Scribbler robot, and experiment with the center of gravity using popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners.
Saints Robotics plans to hold a second demonstration for a different Girl Scouts troop on March 15th, 2012.
More photos can be found on the Saints Robotics Flickr page.
On August 21, 2011, Saints Robotics held an electronics camp open to the public. Two of our mentors, Mr. Moore and Mr. Harman, taught the class.
After learning all about electronic theory, students learned how to solder a circuit with wires, an LED lightbulb, and a resistor. They also learned the process of tinning to achieve a strong connection. Lastly, students shrinkwrapped the exposed connections and tested it with a variable voltage battery.
In August 2011, Saints Robotics hosted a series of two CAD (Computer-Aided Design) workshops designed to help teams learn how to use Autodesk Inventor, a 3D modeling program for digital prototyping. The first workshop focused on the basics of CAD modeling. Attendees learned the basics of designing and rendering custom components. The second workshop focused specifically on modeling robots with VEX Robotics parts, familiarizing people with modeling chains, assembling components and basic animation of parts.
Project files are available to the public on our team forums. Projects included making dice, tori (Ubertubes and triangular tubes from 2011 FRC game Logomotion), the Wheel of Fortune, and basic VEX robots.
On October 23, 2010, Saints Robotics participated in the first annual Robotics exposition sponsored by FIRST. The exposition was a great opportunity to encourage children between the ages of 5-12 to participate in robotics. We gave young children the opportunity to drive our VEX robot and learn how it worked.
We also answered the questions of the many parents who were interested in having their child involved with robotics. During the day, we talked to a couple rookie FLL teams and offered to mentor them in the future. Overall, we helped interest many children in the fields of science and technology.