Mentoring Edina teams that are in the younger FIRST programs is a big part of 1816’s community outreach. From September until end of the competition season for FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST LEGO League Jr., The Green Machine spreads out to offer mentoring and coaching to Edina-based teams. There’s still time to catch the state’s top LEGO teams at the FLL State Tournament, Saturday February 25, hosted by High Tech Kids.
As we approach the middle of the 6-week robot build season, The Green Machine is working hard to make the Week Zero event for the Southwest Hub a success. This pre-season competition is a mock regional competition, complete with robot pits and a full field with all of the FIRST STEAMWORKS game elements. These Week Zero events are held all over Minnesota as well as around the country. The practice events provide FIRST teams with a chance to see how their robot will perform ahead of the stop-build/bag-up-robots day on February 21st.
In 2015, TEDx hosted a conference in Edina, bringing together ministers, scientists, professors, authors and global change-makers for a day of interesting discussion. TEDx returns January 21, bringing another opportunity for the community to engage with speakers, influential persons, and The Green Machine, all of which represent culture-change in specific ways.
The Green Machine engages in many community outreach events throughout the year, but as the pre-season winds down, there is one event that brings tremendous satisfaction and celebration. At the FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Junior tournaments in Edina in December, The Green Machine was delighted to be present to coach, mentor, and volunteer at the two days of the event. More than 500 students and their families came to Valley View Middle School to participate and cheer. Some even advanced to the sectional competitions on their way to the State Championship February 25 in St. Paul.
It seemed like the 2017 build season would never arrive but, now that we are digging into the challenges presented by FIRST STEAMWORKS, it seems that the busy pre-season was only a prelude to a calendar-packed build.
Immediately after the Kickoff broadcast Jan. 7, The Green Machine and Team 2239-Technocrats, Hopkins, dug into the game manual to find the robot rules and the game rules to determine “best-strategies.” Calling upon knowledge acquired throughout the preseason, the teams came up with their initial strategies and game plans for the upcoming season.
Fox9 will host its annual Girls, Science and Technology event on November 12th at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The event presents many STEM-related activities, and hosts a variety of companies and organizations that support technology education. The day is geared towards young women, with the hope of inspiring them to get involved with all that STEM has to offer.
The Girls, Science and Technology event features companies like Microsoft, St. Jude Medical, and Smiths Medical, one of team 1816's sponsors. Demonstrations include experiments, hands-on activities and interactive games.
The Green Machine's second-annual STEMtoberfest will take place the last full week of October at People Serving People (PSP), a Minneapolis-based transitional-housing facility. The goal of STEMtoberfest is to focus on bringing FIRST and STEM, particularly introductory engineering design and build skills, to children who have limited opportunities to join FIRST teams.
The Minnesota Robotics Invitational is a FIRST robotics event, held during the off-season. The invitational hosts teams from all over Minnesota, and aims to provide an enjoyable, friendly competition for all.
The Green Machine plans to bring as many team members as possible to MRI this year, and would love to have rookies join in on the event. "MRI is a great way for rookies to get used to what competitions feel like, and to start to understand how everything works," said Brandon, the Green Machine's 2017 Safety Captain. "We want them to be able to get some practice working in an environment that simulates an actual competition. It will definitely prepare them for the season."
A new school-year means welcoming new team members to FIRST Robotics teams, and The Green Machine is no exception. We find the best way to help new members feel welcome and veteran members to have a less-stressful chance to share their FIRST experiences is to get away from it all and simply have fun!
This will be our third year for an all-team retreat, including an overnight at a local hotel, to highlight what makes the FIRST program so outstanding: A strong bond between team members. The Green Machine's team retreat focuses on community-building activities and games, as well as safety training, presentations and information about FIRST.
Wondering how to approach an elected official on a topic you're passionate about? Want to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill? Curious about the day in the life of a legislator?
Team 1816 - "The Green Machine" is hosting the first annual Minnesota Advocacy Conference on September 24, 2016. Topics and goals/outcomes of the event include: