For the fourth year in a row, a few members of our team have volunteered at a weekly after school robotics academy at Lake Highland Prep for fourth through sixth graders. The students use LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits to build and program their own robots to complete challenges. Our volunteers help the students design and build their robots and teach them basic drag and drop programming. They also help designing and building challenges for the students, pulling from their memories of FLL challenges. At the end of the academy, there is a fun ‘Sumo Bots’ competition that all of the kids look forward to. We choose to volunteer at this academy because it helps our school community and inspires a love for robotics in the next generation of young engineers. In addition to this, we know that sustainability is an important part of maintaining a successful team, so we hope that the kids will go on to join a local FLL team or end up joining HazMat in the future. All of our team members who volunteer at this academy have a great time mentoring and interacting with the young students, and we hope to continue this tradition for years to come. This experience inspired us to create our own FLL team.
Since half of our team is comprised of seniors who will be graduating, we needed to start recruiting new members for the upcoming season. In order to do so, we looked to the rising freshman class. We traveled to Lake Highland’s middle school campus to talk to the middle school FLL team, World Championship qualifying Highland Hurricanes, as well as other students who were interested in pursuing robotics. In this meeting, we outlined the different parts of an FTC team and answered questions from the 8th graders. Multiple students were interested in joining and LIFT can’t wait for them to become part of the team!