On February 15 we attended the Longfellow Science Night. We attended this event the previous year and were invited back. We brought our robot and the lander to use to make the kids engaged and interested. Once we were all the set up, the kids began pouring in to drive the robot. We made everyone take turns and use the robot. The kids had to pick up two gold minerals and then score them into the lander. Although we were afraid that the kids would break the robot, we had confident in our robust design. As the kids had fun driving the robot, we spoke with the parents about First and how it inspires us to pursue careers in the STEM field. Several parents asked how their child could become involved in First. We informed them that they could try either find an existing First Lego League team or create one.
On February 14, we went to Longfellow elementary school in hopes of attending their science night. After unfortunately finding out that we came a day early, we were a little bummed out. But as we walked around we noticed that the kids that stayed for their after school program were all intrigued by our robot. We asked the after school counselors if we could show the robot off to the kids and allow them to drive it. They enthusiastically accepted and gathered the kids for a surprises presentation. We gave a presentation on what First Tech Challenge is and how it improves our interest in the STEM field. After answering a few questions, we allowed the kids to drive our robot so they could engage and develop a more profound interest in robotics considering that our robot is practically one big, fun toy.
Once all the kids were gone, we spoke with the counselors about robotics and how they would like to start a summer program concentrating on the STEM field. We gladly offered our guidance for the summer and recommended that they buy LEGO robotics kits considering their simplicity and how it might set the school up to create an FLL team.