"Robots With and For Others"
We realize that FIRST is more than just building robots, and our team has worked to live out our motto by giving back to our community through our outreach programs designed to introduce and excite elementary and middle school students about STEM.
Over the past two summers, we have held a Robotics and Coding Academy for middle school students at our St. Ignatius campus. Participants either attended a six week long class or a one week long camp. The middle schoolers learn the basics of coding with Scratch and design their own video game. They create models using computer design programs such as TinkerCAD or Onshape and then 3D print their work to take home. Students build robots using Lego Mindstorms and then put them to the test by driving them around an obstacle course and competing in a "Battle Bots"-like tournament. The kids are also exposed to emerging technologies such as drones and virtual reality. Many students are able to attend without cost through our school’s Magis program. Magis is a latin term meaning "the more," and this program strives to do more by helping kids from low income families who will be the first generation to go to college.
During the school year we run after-school workshops to teach 4-8th graders how to build and program Lego Mindstorms robots. We hope to start FIRST Lego League teams with these students for the 2017-2018 season. We are currently working with the San Francisco Chinatown YMCA and plan to expand to more schools in the coming months.
Check out our FIRST Lego League Guide to read more about this exciting program and how to start a team.