August 30, 2010
FIRST offers an incredible opportunity for students of all ages to discover their "hidden" talents in the areas of science and technology. I started two years ago with a small high school team who built what they called their "Ghetto-Bot" and competed in our local regional. This robot was built with chicken-wire, "Duct" tape and plywood, hence the name. Last year I coached, or co-coached a total of four teams, one at each grade level. The excitement and enthusiasm of my students (ages 8 through 17) was awe-inspiring! Some of these kids would have said they didn't know anything about science, or robots, or engineering yet, they managed to design, construct, program and operate a variety of robots. My original team (FRC)constructed a robot that truly looked "space-age" with seperate enclosed compartments for both the electronics and the pnuematics. They even contrived pnuematic shocks for the electronics box!
My second high school team (FTC)went all to way to the World Championships after winning our local regional and an "Inovation in Design" award from a major aerospace company! This year we will have two of these teams competing as part of the new Robotics course I am teaching at our high school.
My elementary teams are "chomping at the bit" to get started on this year's challenge!
I cannot say enough about the level of empowerment this program is offering my students. They are so excited about participating in the program and having their ideas taken seriously that it boggles the mind!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
... watching my students as they experience success and failure in their own designs; as they grasp new concepts; as they realize they CAN do it; and as they realize many more options for their futures!
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
...the looks on my students faces and the excitement in their voices.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
awesome: dedicated and enthusiastic.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
...open the doors for many more youth!
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every week
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & I have coached multiple teams.