We were able to help the 10 future coaches by answering their questions, and providing our season-long support through adding them to our forum. One unique experience that we had was when one parent came up to us, and asked how she could donate to our team. She had attended our coaches bootcamp, (See Page D3-5) and was really grateful for the help she had received. We did not have an answer to this, as this wasn’t something we had been asked before. We should look into creating a donation process for our team. We also have to add interested parents to our forum, and send them information regarding our training sessions. Overall, this event had a measurable impact.
This event was very impactful to us. 8 of our 11 members were on FLL teams in years past, so giving back to the FIRST LEGO League community is close to our hearts. The information that we conveyed to the coaches will help them in their season. It was also awesome to meet the new senior mentor for FIRST in Maryland, Barry McGovern, and talk to him about our upcoming events. Last year, some of the coaches found the session either too basic or too advanced, but this year, all the coaches were on the same page and very engaged, so this was an improvement from last year.
This was the an interesting event because it was the first time we got to take our summer drivetrain projects (outreach bots) to an outreach event. We had five robots, and at any given moment there were at least 3 on the field. We let kids shoot balls from Gandalf into the goal attached to The Wizard (mobile vortex) (one of our new robots) so it was an interesting and fun challenge.
The mecanum drive robot, Merlin, and the 4 wheel omni robot were there for kids to just drive around and try out. We also brought an FLL Jr. activity where kids got to program a MILO bot using WeDo. We had a total of 5 people sign up for information on FIRST programs and our training sessions 4 people for FLL Jr. We also met 4 parents/families who were interested in forming a team together. Another cool thing was that we got to test the new version of our outreach perimeter, it got a little banged up but it is a great make on behalf of the team.
Through this session, we were able to start 3 teams. It was amazing to see the excitement both kids and parents had after this session. One mom who had come to this session with 4 kids, felt overwhelmed because her husband is in the military. After we talked with her, she agreed to start a team. Most of the parents assembled into teams.
We ran two different activities at this event. We had the block stacking challenge with the pushbot, but we also had some legos for kids to play with. We had challenged the kids to build different things, like animals, buildings, spaceships, and other cool things. At our table, we had a lot of parents come up to us to talk about what our team is doing and what opportunities there are for their kids to participate in different FIRST programs. At this event, we had 7 children/parents interested in potentially joining a team or attending information sessions. We also met several potential technical mentors and interacted with a member of the City Council.