One of the main ways we spread the message of FIRST is giving presentations and demonstrations at local and national conferences. The presentations are usually presented jointly by mentors and students. In the past three years, we have a given a dozen presentations at events such as at the Massachusetts High Technology Council’s 30th anniversary gala event, the New England American Physical Society, the New England American Association of Physics Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, British-American STEM Leadership Council, Lowell Regional Physics Alliance, FIRST Conference in Atlanta, and the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group. We had a booth at the New England Laboratory Robotics Interest Group meeting to display our robot last year, and the highlight of the previous year was our booth at the national meeting of the NSTA in Boston.

We also present workshops regularly to enrich the community. Many workshops are presented in house at Boston University. Recently, we presented workshops in house on Solidworks, VEX Robotics, and FTC. For the Solidworks workshop, a representative from the company came to help out, and donated free copies of the Solidworks software to all teams participating. We also presented a hands-on workshop on LEGO robotics at the Annual Massachusetts Science Teachers meeting and~ three recent hands-on workshop on VEX robotics. Two years ago, we designed a set of workshops for local FRC teams, and we had a well attended 5 week series, during which we overviewed fundraising, pneumatics, electronic sensor programming, college scholarships, and Solidworks. Our workshops were presented by teachers, undergraduates, and high school students. Part of our goal is to give our own students experience in making presentations, and to show the student attendees to what level they too can aspire. Click here to learn more about the workshops we run.

To build on our workshops, we host VEX, FTC, and FLL Robotics Competitions in our school gymnasium. We hope by providing an opportunity for schools to dip their toe into the robotics waters, that more schools will adopt FRC. Our highlight of 2009 was distributing $10000 in VEX grants to local Boston Public School teams for start-up funds. They also received free materials and hands on training from 246. Click here to learn more about the outreach events we host.

Thank you very much for all your work putting together the Challenge on the
Charles. It was a great introduction to First Robotics for our new Middle
School team, Halestorm. If I thought my 23 member middle school team
was excited about First Robotics before your event last Saturday just served
to throw gasoline on them!

– FLL Team 4319 from Hale Middle School, Stow

Over the summer, many of our members help out in the BU U-Design Camp. The camp is designed at promoting engineering in kids.
Click here for a BU Today article about the camp.