Mentoring: Our main community outreach project is our middle school robotics mentoring. In our school district, our middle school students are separated into two schools: Nature Hill and Silver Lake. Our team splits up between the two schools and helps the middle schoolers brainstorm, allocate materials and assist in assembling their robots. Later in their season, we host the tournaments (one at each school), giving the students a sense of accomplishment when they advance through rounds. We emphasize the need to use gracious professionalism during their build season. Gracious professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. It is amazing when we see both teams shaking hands after a match, not being discouraged if they lost.
Summerfest Kid's Day: During this past summer, part of our team went to the Kid's Day at Summerfest. Summerfest is a big music festival in Milwaukee, WI. At this event, we played matches against other local teams. Everyone who went got a chance to try driving our robot, working the accessory controls and being the human player. We had a booth for kids to play games and win robotic themed prizes, candy, and coloring books. We had a great turnout. The kids who watched our robot were excited to learn how it worked.
Car Wash and Brat Sale at Piggly Wiggly: One day during the summer, the team puts on a car wash for shoppers of Piggly Wiggly. While having their car washed, people can come to a stand and buy brats, hot dogs, and hamburgers, along with other food items. This proves to be a good fundraiser for us, raising about 600 dollars, as well as raising the awareness of FIRST involvement with community events. The more important outcome of this fundraiser was to leave with a better sense of being familiar with our team members before the official build season, and our contribution to local communities.