In our "FIRST Flames" program we introduce robotic concepts and specifically FIRST robotics to younger grade students and to the general public. Through demos and camps we give live robot demonstrations and planned activities. We find that the best method is hands-on experience, which is why we strive to let as many people as possible drive our robot, explore its inside, etc. all while maintaining a safe environment. The goal of FIRST is to create a culture in which kids idealize STEM heroes and dream of emulating them. At Combustion, we realize that in order for this to happen, kids must be exposed at a very young age. We seek every opportunity to show children that we are the new cool. We have visited various camps including Fit as a Firefighter, First Baptist, and 21st Century. This is in addition to co-hosting our own week long Science Camp that exposed one hundred and thirty kids various fun STEM activities. Throughout the year we travelled to our Annual Boy Scouts Expo, Bonne Ecole's Science Night, our Parish's College and Career Night and Truth 180's Teen Summit for troubled youth. While partnering with our sponsors, we gave demonstrations of PWR's and Michoud's "Take Our Children to Work Day". We often are asked back to demo and therefore make many repeat appearances at places throughout the years. For example, 2011 will make our sixth time at our city's Fourth of July Heritage Fest.
|CSI Science Camp|
Our biggest outreach event this summer was the week long CSI Science Camp that we co-hosted with Cypress Cove Elementary. We provided funding, counselors and a considerable part of curriculum. We recieved a lot of NASA support due to their "Summer of Innovation" program. For five days 120 kids from 1st to 5th grade learned about various topics and performed fun and cool experiments. One of the days was Team 1912 day where our members operated seven different stations all relating to robotics and rocketry. We were very happy to have to help from members of the Boyet Jr. High Lego League team. As if the camp was not successful enough, it has also lead to the creation of Junior Lego league teams at Cypress Cove.
Inspiring local kids to shoot for the best, Team 1912 organized and ran our first annual Rocket Camp for students from third to fifth grade. As dedicated team counselors, 1912 members worked with the Boyet Jr. High FLL team to bring a fun learning experience to nearly forty campers. Children designed, assembled, and launched handheld rockets based on the basic principles of aerospace mathematics, physics, and engineering. Team 1912 looks forward to summers filled with Rocket Camps for even more young campers interested in hands-on rocketry.
|Boys and Girls Club at Yazoo City|
To reach the underserved communities of the Gulf Coast, Team 1912 packed robot Thermite and headed for the four-hours-away land of Yazoo City, Mississippi. There, we were welcomed by the Boys and Girls' Club as a fellow FIRST partner, delighted to share science and technology during an astronomical special occasion. Thermite wowed families and friends with basketball skills, while 1912 members ensured every child a drive from behind the controls board. We believe that every child and school deserves the chance to become passionate about robotics.
|Girl Scout Camellia Camp|
Continuing a tradition of spreading FIRST even outside of school communities, Team Combustion had a blast with Girl Scout troops at the Camellia City Demo. With eager girls crowding around to learn more about driving, designing, and building robots, our students shared the FIRST experience with everyone from troop parents and leaders to even the youngest Girl Scout. The Camellia City demo is part of an ongoing 1912 focus to encourage and empower more young women to pursue STEM futures through fun and creative means.
|21st Century Camp|
At Brock Elementary, the 21st Century Learning Center is a part of the OKAY (Opportunity Knocks All Year) Program and runs a science oriented camp in the summer. A school once visited by First Lady Michelle Obama, we brought FIRST Robotics. Following in one of our demo traditions, all 100+ children and counselors got an opportunity to drive one of our robots.
|First Baptist Summer Camp|
his summer we were invited by the First Baptist Church to do a demonstation at their week long camp. The children varied in ages but all were interested in various topics of robotics. While the line to drive to robot moved along, many of the children were filled with great questions from the application to robotics to the weight of our battery. Luckily we were able to answer all their inquiries and show them some really cool robotics, something that delighted them all.
|Bonne Ecole Science Night|
In the fall of 2010 we demoed at one of our local elementary schools, Bonne Ecole, during the annual Science Night. In addition to demoing our own robots for excited children and their parents, we also partnered with one of our biggest sponsors, NDEP. We acted as key volunteers in their interactive water robotics exhibit, Seaperch. Visiting Bonne Ecole was especially fun because we mentor their FIRST Lego League Team.
For seven years now, Team 1912 has attended the annual Fourth of July Heritage Festival, at Heritage Park in Slidell. Each year, we demo our robot on the sidewalk in front of our booth, attracting crowds of children and adults alike. It also gives our team members a chance to make a plethora of new contacts from local businesses, other teams, and politicians, including our mayor. We are very privileged to attend an event like the Heritage Festival year after year!
|Boy Scouts Expo|
In the early spring, right after the Championship event, we attended the Regional Boyscouts Expo in New Orleans' City Park. The Boy Scouts and FIRST Robotics share many things such as the desire to serve their community while enriching the lives of their members, which makes it only natural that the two organizations would partner. This year the robotics merit badge was introduced and we are hoping to help troops achieve this badge. Currently we are working to form boy scout based FIRST teams that may participate in Lego League.
We got our spooky side on at the Lakeview Medical Center an event that raises money for disabled children. During Boo Fest, various organizations set up little booth or 'houses' that children visit to collect candy. Team Combustion put their own spin on it, offering candy and the chance to drive one of our robots. This offered us another oppotunity to partner with one of our favorite groups, Northshore Families Helping Families. With all the fun costumes, the very worthy cause and a healthy dose of robotics, it was a very fun and spirited demo.
In the summer of 2009 and again in 2010, we partnered with a charity organization called Truth 180. We attended their Back to School Bash/Teen Summit which aimed to help local troubled youth. Along side such groups as Textron, one of our older sponsors, and the Slidell Police Department, we showed kids our age why robotics could become a bright part of their future. In addition to showcasing our robot we let our audiences obseve soem of our materials to try to bring a hands-on approach.
|College and Career Night|
At an annual parish wide expo night, students and the parents from around the area explore possible career path options. With a host of information and our robot, we explained to many why any STEM field would be an excellent and rewarding choice. The majority of our alumni have gone into science or engineering and it's always great to spread the word about one of the fastest and best paying job markets.
|Mardi Gras Parade|
One of the perks of living down south is enjoying the fun and craziness of a festival we like to call Mardi Gras. Even robotics kids can't help but join in the fun. This year we were invited to march in one of our city's parades - The Krewe of Slidellians. We created a robotics truck float that displayed one of our previous year's robots. Some team members marched along side the float tossing beads and business cards while others carried parade sponsor banners all along the route. While the five mile trek was exhausting, it gave us a great opportunity to spread our wildfire!
|Veterans Day Parade|
To show our support for those who serve and have served our country we marched in our city's fourth annual Veterans Day Parade. Our team decked out one of our team member's truck with flags and other patroitic decorations. With a robot on display, we marched down our city's main streets. While parade routes may be tiring, it's all worth it when you here random citizens remember that, "Hey there's the robotics team!" We look forward to marching for years to come, to spread our fiery science love and show support for our beloved veterans.
|Freshman Orientataion / Club Day|
As part of our recruitment process we demo for many of the prospective students. A week before school officially starts, Team 1912 participates in our school's Freshman Orientation. Along with many of the other large clubs at Northshore, we set up a booth and explained to the these new students what robotics is all about. A few weeks into school there is "Club Day" where all the clubs showcase their stuff and attract new members. We have a tendency to steal the spotlight, because, well, a robot rolling through the commons is pretty hard to miss.
|Fit as a Firefighter Camp|
For the past two years we have visited one of the most health conscious summer camps in our city, Fit as a Firefighter Camp. It encourages children to make smart, nutritional choices regarding their diet. We show these 80+ campers that being invovled in robotics is one of the smartest decisions you could make. The response has always been a gleeful and as seen in the picture, playing with our robot is one of more favorite activites. While we build robots, we also aim for healthy lifestyles!
|Belle Chase Visit|
Besides producing high-quality robots for competitions, Team 1912 makes its sponsors proud by spreading the word about science and technology in fun, innovative ways. A visit to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse on behalf of gracious sponsor NRL proved to be as rewarding for crowds there as it was for our students. The STEM Youth Summer Blitz was a hit. With Thermite and his basketballs in tow, 1912 spoke to throngs of interested kids on the base, showing them the many benefits of joining a robotics team. After letting roomfuls of eager young kids drive Thermite and examine his anatomy, Team Combustion finished the day with an on-stage offer to help start JrFLL, FLL, and FRC teams.