Mentoring is key to our pillar core values: sustainability, growth, mentoring , education, teamwork, and unity. Beginning each September, the Robostangs coach FLL Jr. students in kindergarten to third grade. Students learn basic programming and build lego models with educational robotics kits. At the end of their journey, FLL Jr. students showcase their modules and provide a short presentation to judges at a event called EXPO. At the EXPO, they showcase their posters, share ideas, celebrate, and have fun!
The Robostangs have mentored FLL Jr. since 2012. Teams meet at the high school every Tuesday for an hour and a half. This season, we hosted eight FLL Jr. teams, where we teach them how to build and program their Mission Moon WeDo2 model, which represents a solution to a problem involving getting to the moon. We prepared our sessions based on the engineering and teaching materials from FIRST, and we did our own research to incorporate on the curriculum and presentation. We talked to them about space and the moon to give them an understanding of robotics. This deepens their knowledge past the basic curriculum. Not only were the kids very engaged, but they work together to complete the tasks with LEGO bricks. A lot of the younger siblings came along with parents. They played with the LEGO bricks and enjoyed watching their siblings complete their tasks. Throughout the 13 weeks of FLL Jr., the Robostangs developed a real relationship with the FLL Jr. kids and became friends. The Robostangs and students all had a bond with each other. After the Jr. FLL season was over, we celebrated with a pizza party to thank everyone for attending the meetings.
In the process, teams learn about teamwork, science and technology, and the FIRST Core Values, which include respect, sharing, and critical thinking. They worked together to explore new ideas and use creativity to solve problems. They applied what they learned to improve in the world. Overall, the teams respected each other and embraced our differences. They learned if they work together, they can solve any problems.
FLL Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love. FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams get to learn how to explore a real-world scientific problem such as food safety, recycling, and energy. They develop presentation skills by creating a Show Me poster that illustrates their journey of discovery and introduces their team. They also learned how to design and build a challenge-related model using LEGO Elements and Explore challenges facing today's scientists.
Guided by adult coaches and mentors, FLL teams research real-world problems, such as food safety, recycling, or energy, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, and program a robot using a program called Lego Mindstorms. They use their robot to compete on a table-top playing field.
This FLL season, the Robostangs mentored one FLL team. The Robonauts were a team consisting of one adult coach, two Robostang mentors and six members. The Robonauts mostly came from Amerman Elementary School, located in Northville. The children were very dedicated and hardworking. They only went to one qualifier before advancing on to the state competition. A highlight in their season was attending all their meetings, as they looked forward to coming to FLL practices.
The Robostangs enjoyed helping this team every week. They had a positive experience working with the Robonauts. This experience inspired the kids to advance to the FTC level in FIRST and to come join the Robostangs in the years to come.
Guided by adult coaches and Robostang mentors, FTC students used STEM core values while working hard, innovating and sharing ideas. Each FTC team is sixth through eighth grade. The robot kits that teams use is a reusable year-to-year kit which can be programmed using many coding languages, including Java. FTC teams also raised funds, designed, and marketed their team brand. They did community outreach from which they could win awards in. Every FTC team goes to local competitions. As they progress through the stages of competition, the season concludes with a very exciting World Championship!
This FTC season the Robostangs mentored two teams. Team 9908, the Killer Coders, had an amazing season! This is the fourth year the Killer Coders are competing in FTC. They had 11 members, three coaches, and two Robostangs student mentors. The Killer Coders competed at two competitions this season. They ranked 7th at the Mason FTC qualifier and ranked 29th at the Great Lakes Bay region FTC qualifier. They did not qualify for states this year, but they were determined and would not give up if they lost a match. Some highlights in their season included attending outreach events and earning a sponsorship from Autodesk. The other team the Robostangs mentored was team 12955, the Fire Sparks. The Fire Sparks, a 2 year FTC team had 10 members, three coaches, and three Robostangs student mentors. The Fire Sparks had a rocky start to their season, but the hard work they put in paid off in the end. The first competition the Fire Sparks competed at was the Oxford FTC qualifier which they ranked 37th in. The Fire Sparks were very hardworking and dedicated in their season. In their 2nd competition at the Kearsley FTC qualifier, the Fire Sparks ranked 16th overall. They did not qualify for states this year, but most importantly, they all had fun! A highlight of their season included outreach events around the community.
The Robostangs enjoyed helping out these teams every week. They had a positive experience working with the teams. This experience inspired the kids to advance to the FRC level in FIRST and to come and join the Robostangs in the years to come.