FIRST stresses outreach in their programs, and it helps to instill a spirit of “giving back” for the team members. The goal for our outreach should be to raise the awareness of our community to the advantages of STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). We can accomplish this by attending events or fairs, visiting other organizations or classrooms, or even hosting events.
We want to reach the entire community, but how we reach and the message itself will be different depending on the target audience. For young students, we want expose them to the fun and wonder of STEM, and give them an hunger for additional STEM exposure. Older students are a target for team recruitment, but we may also find a way to make them consider advanced studies or careers in STEM disciplines.
We would like adults to see what we are doing as a whole, and then want to get involved. Most adults will provide more exposure to our program through word-of-mouth advertising, parents might get their children involved, or may know other families who would be interested in robotics. Business and community leaders will hopefully be moved to help out team out with sponsorship. Hopefully other adults will want to help as a coach or mentor for the team. It is extremely valuable if we can connect with members of the science and engineering community.
- LOTB hosted a booth at Senator McClellan’s Community Harvest Festival in downtown Richmond.
- We could host a booth at the New Kent County Fair.
- LOTB visited a local American Heritage Girls troop and present information for the girls to earn a Robotics Badge.
- FIRST invited teams to participate in RavenCon‘s “Rise With the Machines: Saturday Morning Robotics Demo”. (During this event, we met with NASA engineers who will be available to speak with New Kent Robotics team members in the future!)