In the summer of 2011, the team held their first robotics summer camp at Student RND, 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 hope to hold a few more camps in the summer. Please contact us if your son or daughter is interested in participating.
Newport Heights Elementary Science Fair
After the 2011 FRC regional in Seattle, Saints Robotics continues to perform robotics demonstrations in school science fairs. On 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.
Franklin Elementary Science Fair
On 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. Similar to the Girl Scouts demonstration, 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.
Woodridge Elementary Science Fair
We were invited to Woodridge Elementary School on March 2, 2010 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.
Bennett Elementary Science Fair
Every year, Saints Robotics attends 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.
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.