Today we spent an afternoon at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s summer camp to talk about FIRST. The camp was coordinated by Tammy, who has been a long time FIRST supporter, and has an FLL team of her own. Lawton, Josh, and Mitchell were invited to talk to the kids about FIRST, and show them some of the things we’ve accomplished this season. We also took this time to read our Riley the Robot book to the students.
After watching the students as they try to complete an obstacle course, we got to present. We began by reading Riley the Robot. We told the kids about the issue with Alaska’s illiteracy rate, as well as our lack of engineers, and then read our book to them. They seemed intrigued, and were one of the most respectful audiences we’ve read to. After, we showed them our season’s reveal video, and Mitchell gave them a demo of their FTC robot. Both of which they were really excited to see. One kid we heard said “Woah, they’re like real engineers. They must be rich!”. We were also told they were beginning to learn how to program using the LEGO IDE, and we showed them what our code looked like. They seemed thoroughly intrigued.
Finally, the kids got back to work, and we walked around asking kids about their robots. Mitchell gave them a chance to drive his robot as well. Many teams had super creative designs that they made. They were only given legos, a brick, and one motor, yet they made some incredible things with them. One team made a crocodile, there was a mars rover, and a lot of battle bots.
It was really enjoyable to see what these students have been able to achieve in just four days of camp, and it was even more enjoyable to know that we helped inspire them to achieve more. These kids are just entering the age that our team began having interest in STEM, and we hope in a decade they will be the leaders of STEM in Alaska just like we are today.