Dallas ISD Stem ExpoTags: outreach, motivate, and connect
Task: Motivate the community at the DISD Stem Expo
Today we hosted a booth at the Dallas ISD STEM Expo at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. There, we taught kids coding, introduced them to robotics and the FIRST community, and demonstrated TauBot to the public. Not to mention, we also got some decent driver practice in, which is always a plu. For the coding section, we used LEGO Mindstrosm EV3 Sumo robots to teach kids about block coding and spark interest in robotics and STEM in general. Overall it was a hit and a lot of kids enjoyed the activity.
At the Sumo Bot portion of our booth, we set a up table with laptops, Sumo EV3 robots, and two sumo rings. We taught kids basic block coding and allowed them to expirement with their code and see how the robots execute their code. They then got to use the robots in Sumo showdowns against each other.
Alongside our Sumo Robotics station we had an FTC competition field set up, in which we gave kids a demonstration of the Iron Reign, Iron Giant, and Iron Core robots. We allowed the kids to drive them and get firsthand experience with a robot, which they really enjoyed. We also answered a lot of questions about our robot, betterng both our understanding of the robot itself and our presentation skills, which will come in hand at Regionals.
Our team talked to both parents and children about how to get involved in the FIRST program, explaining how it works and the opportunities it creates, and why we love participating in the FIRST program. We talked about our experiences in robotics, joining the Iron Reign program, and shared personal stories about how we got into robotics. Not only did we share information about our own program, but also how to get into FLL, FTC, FRC, and other robotics programs based on their age and interests.
Overall, it was quite a rewarding experience and we got to interact with a lot of people of a lot of different ages. We also were able to connect with some professionals in a somewhat limited manner, but there will be a seperate blog post about that coming soon.