From left to right: April Gaydos, Frankie Hernandez, Krista Scafidel, Matt Hasse, Brett Dupree, Karl Schulze, Not pictured – Rashad Paynes
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, on the first Saturday of January, the game is released to all the teams world-wide at the same time. From that moment, each team has six weeks to design, build, and test their robot. We, as robotics mentors, work with multiple FRC teams in East Baton Rouge, Ascension, West Baton Rouge, and Iberville Parish. This year, the Robotics mentors decided that they wanted an opportunity to build a robot similar to what the teams they mentor are building, but we threw in a twist. Instead of having six weeks, we decided to build this robot in three days! The purpose of this project was to create a training opportunity for our mentors, the teams we work with, and of course have fun!
Meet Peggy and check out our documentary on the 3 Day Build here!
The robotics mentors have been very busy! Here are a few updates:
- Hosted a one day seminar on the Foundations of FIRST
- Co-hosted the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Kick-off Event
- Built a FRC robot in 3 days
- Mentor 13 schools in the Baton Rouge area
- Expanded our mentoring team to 23 mentors
- Volunteered at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Competition
- Volunteered at Red Stick Rumble
- Co-Hosted the 2016 FLL Fast Start
- Led numerous trainings on ethics and technical skills
Foundations of a FIRST Team was a one-day seminar focusing on the non-technical aspects of a FIRST Robotics team. After talking to multiple teams and being involved in FIRST for the past nine years, I have noticed that many teams focus solely on building a robot and miss out on opportunities to grow and develop as a team. With the amount of resources available and experienced teams in this area, my goals were to help newer FIRST teams by connecting them to these resources as well as to assist experienced teams in becoming even stronger competitors. The FIRST Robotics Competition is not just about winning, it is about how students can learn and grow as individuals and as a team. By bringing local teams together for this workshop, I believed we could cover many fronts, such as:
- Giving teams an opportunity to share their individual expertise so they can grow within the FIRST program
- Educate each team on the different awards, what they mean, and their benefits
- Show how FIRST connects to the real world
- Create sustainable teams and exhibit growth
All teams that attended the FIRST Bayou Regional were surveyed on what topics for which they would like more information and guidance. The survey responses were the main influence for the subject matter of the seminar. A date was chosen based on the teachers’ reported availability and other scheduling factors, such as the start of the FIRST Robotics build and competition season (January – May). The workshop was held on Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 9am-12pm (see details below).
- Topics covered (presentation): engineering design process, team building, incorporating different personality types into your team (DiSC leadership styles), goal setting, SWOT analysis, and conflict resolution
- Information provided (portfolio): awards descriptions and tips, fundraising ideas, guide to building a business plan, how to create sponsorship packets, copies of all worksheets used in the seminar, and a copy of the presentations given
- 9 schools from Louisiana attended (23 teachers and students)
- 6 Society of Peer Mentors volunteered along with 2 faculty sponsors
Resources from Seminar
Welcome back everyone! It has been a while since we have updated all of our fellow readers on the progress of the Robotics group.
Here are a few things we have been working on:
- We now work with 13 schools across West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Ascension Parish.
- We have volunteered at various events such as the FIRST LEGO League State Competition and off-season event, Red Stick Rumble.
- This past fall we hosted a seminar on FIRST Robotics for teachers, mentors, and student leaders.
- At the beginning of January, eight mentors worked together to build a FIRST Robotics Competition robot for Steamworks in 3 days!!!
Stay tuned for more details on all of our exciting endeavors!