Jul 21, 2016

Project Report #7 for DC Metro FIRST(Apr-Jun 2016

Chesapeake Winning Alliance
Chesapeake Winning Alliance

The activities for this reporting period can be divided into several distinct areas of DC Metro FIRST activities.  The DC FIRST staff and local teams have attended many STEM events at the local DC Metro and National levels. These outreach events are designed to recruit students, teams, coaches /mentors and sponsors.

FIRST was a featured program at and will continue with local STEM outreach programs. These include the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Conferences, DC United, Navy Leagues Sea-Air-Space Conference, and ShareFaire/STEMosphere.  We have a robot driving activity where the students can earn a robot “driver’s license” which draws kids to the exhibit/booth to learn more about STEM, FIRST and robotics. Parents learn more about how their kids, schools and other organization can get involved.

In June we participated in the first of this year’s the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s 12 summer “Beat the Streets” community based events and the DC United’s STEM night. We have exhibited at these events for 5 years. They are a great opportunity to take and FIRST and STEM to the local neighborhoods.

These events offer opportunities for FIRST alums, sponsors and the general public to volunteer and help as we try to maximize the number of students and teams supported.  If you or friends/co-workers are interested, please contact us about volunteering and/or becoming a coach or mentor. All FIRST events across all four programs are free to the public. These events are great way for you and your families learn about FIRST.

The 2015 - 2016 FIRST Robotic seasons for four programs have concluded with the World Championships in St Louis. The April World Championships were well represented by teams from DC, MD and VA.

 It was a very successful FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season as we migrated from the Regional Paradigm to the District Model. There were 28 FRC by teams from DC, MD and VA in St Louis. Some of the money raised thru Global Giving during the past year was used to send an underserved team to the District and World Championships. In part because of the additional events and plays provided by the District Model, the teams were highly competitive on and off the field in St Louis.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams were well represented in St Louis, also.  The First Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League tournaments were held thru out DC, MD and VA. Teams have been recognized for their efforts as a team and the quality of their projects and robots. 

As part of the FIRST Outreach, additional parts and kits were purchased this year to provide more and updated FTC and FLL robots. These were used to demonstrate the actual robot(s) students would be using as part of the FTC and FLL. We have been working with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the OSSE to introduce FLL and FLL Jr into schools and after school programs. On June the 4th, we held an off-season FLL event at Walker Jones Educational Campus in DC.

We provide training sessions are used to help new or struggling teams to get the info they need to be successful teams. This training is critical to developing the hard and soft skills of coaches/mentors as well as students.

Thanks for your previous donations.

Links:

Apr 20, 2016

Project Report #6 for DC Metro FIRST(Dec - Mar 2016)

The activities for this reporting period can be divided into several distinct areas of DC Metro FIRST activities.  The DC FIRST staff and local teams have attended many STEM events at the local DC Metro and National levels. These outreach events are designed to recruit students, teams, coaches /mentors and sponsors.

The First Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League tournaments were held thru out the DC Metro area. These seasons are wrapping up for the 2015-2016 seasons.  Teams have been recognized for their efforts as a team and the quality of their projects and robots.  The FRC Teams world-wide were presented the 2016 game at the Jan 9 Kick-off.  The local FIRST Robotic Competitions (FRC) teams with the help of their team mentors with support from FIRST Staff settled into work on their robots which had to be designed and built exclusively during the “build season” from Jan 9 – Feb 23.  Prior to the build season a major FRC training event was held on Dec 12 and 160 students and mentors attended. The FRC teams competed thru out the DC Metro area. The Chesapeake District Events were held at:

  1. CHS District - Central Maryland Event South River High School Edgewater, MD Mar 24-26, 2016
  2. CHS District - Greater DC Event Walt Whitman High School Bethesda, MD Mar 11-13, 2016
  3. CHS District - Northern Maryland Event Harford Technical High School Bel Air, MD Mar 18-20, 2016
  4. CHS District - Central Virginia Event Farm Bureau Center - Meadow Event Park Doswell, VA Mar 24-26, 2016
  5. CHS District - Hampton Roads Event Churchland High School Portsmouth, VA Mar 18-20, 2016
  6. CHS District - Northern Virginia Event Battlefield High School Haymarket, VA Mar 04-06, 2016
  7. CHS District - Southwest Virginia Event Blacksburg High School Blacksburg, VA  Mar 11-13, 2016

The FIRST Chesapeake District Championship was held at the Xfinity Center on the University of Maryland, College Park Campus from Apr 6 - Apr 9, 2016. Twenty-five local FRC teams qualified for and will be attending the World Championship in St Louis from Apr 27 – 30. Many local teams are actively raising funds to go to the FIRST World Championship in St Louis, MO in April. Thru donations to our Global Giving project we have been able to provide funning to a local underserved team. Thanks for your previous donations.

FIRST tournaments are part of what gets and keeps most students engaged with FIRST and robotics as they decide on whether careers in STEM are them.  Also, these events offer opportunities to showcase all four of the FIRST programs. We host many hands on activities, showcases/expos at the regionals.  These events offer opportunities for FIRST alums, sponsors and the general public to volunteer and help as we try to maximize the number of students and teams supported.  All FIRST events across all four programs are free to the public.


FIRST was a featured program at and will continue with local STEM outreach programs. These include the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Conferences, Navy Leagues Sea-Ai-rSpace Conference,,ShareFaire/STEMosphere, American Society of Naval Engineers, Girls in Technology and US Dept of Energy’s STEM Fair. Typically, we have a robot driving activity where the students can earn a robot “driver’s license” which draws kids to the exhibit/booth to learn more about STEM, FIRST and robotics. Parents learn more about how their kids, schools and other organization can get involved.

We also are starting the planning process for the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s ten summer “Beat the Streets” community based events and the DC United’s STEM night. We have exhibited at these events for 4 years. They are a great opportunity to take STEM to the local neighborhoods.

DC FIRST is a Microsoft Community Partner and holds exhibitions of and training for FIRST programs over the course of the year at the Pentagon City Mall store. These training sessions are used to help new or struggling teams to get the info they need to be successful teams. This training is critical to developing the hard and soft skills of coaches/mentors as well as students.

Links:

Dec 9, 2015

Project Report #5 for DC Metro FIRST (Sep-Nov 2015

The activities for this reporting period can be divided into several distinct areas of DC Metro FIRST activities.  The DC FIRST staff and local teams have attended many STEM events at the local DC Metro and National levels. These outreach events are designed to recruit students, teams, coaches /mentors and sponsors.

FIRST exhibited at the Botanic Garden Teachers Night to promote FIRST, STEM and Technology to DC area science and technology teachers. We had over 50 teachers stopping at the FIRST exhibit to inquire about how they can start FIRST in their schools. DC area teams with students and robots held robotic demonstrations and/or hands-on activities for students. We had a robot driving activity where the students can earn a robot “driver’s license” which draws kids to the exhibit/booth to learn more about STEM, FIRST and robotics. Parents learn more about how their kids, schools and other organization can get involved. Recently we had exhibits and activities at the Silver Spring Maker Faire, VA Tech Science Expos and DC Office of the State Super of Ed,  We did a video presentation on Russian Television as part of an extended outreach.

DC and MD FIRST staff visited the University of Maryland’s First Look and matched up to 60 + students who are interested in supporting FIRST in some way. Many of the students are FIRST Alumni.

We held FLL and Jr.FLL training workshops at the Pentagon City Microsoft store, Patent and Trademark Office, OSSE and Leidos facilities. These events attracted 100s attendees.

We host First Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League tournaments thru out the DC Metro area. 20 FLL Qualifying tournaments were held in VA and DC in Nov. MD events will be in the Spring. FTC tournaments for DC, MD and VA are starting in Dec.  We are preparing for 7 FRC district competitions and regional championship in Mar – Apr for the DC, VA and MD.  These tournaments are what gets and keeps most students engaged with FIRST and robotics as they decide on whether careers in STEM are them.  Also, these regional events offer opportunities to showcase the FIRST programs to the community. We host many hands on activities, showcases/expos at the events.  They offer opportunities for FIRST alums and sponsors to volunteer and help at the events. All FIRST competitions are free to the public.

A major FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) training workshop will be held in Dec. These training sessions are used to help new or struggling teams to get the info they need to be successful teams. This training is critical to developing the hard and soft skills of coaches/mentors as well as students. Potential mentors are invited to attend.

Donated funds will be used in part to purchase and repair our demonstration robots, purchase field game elements for our hands-on activities, support training of local teams, and other support materials.  I plan on using some of the funds to help defray the expenses of the training sessions. Currently teams pay a nominal fee. Once critical levels are obtained we hope to financially support underserved teams.

Links:

 
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