As part of our outreach efforts to expand the community and range of FIRST Robotics, Team 1540 oversees many demos and outreach events to talk about the opportunities and experiences provided by FIRST.
Every year since 2012, Team 1540 students have presented our robot at OMSI's Mini Maker Faire or Maker Faire in hopes of spreading STEM and FIRST to broader horizons. As a result of collaborating with FRC and FTC teams alike, presenting at Maker Faire gives Flaming Chickens the opportunity to work with regular competitors as colleagues, thus simultaneously furthering and expanding the FIRST community.
In November 2017, four Team 1540 students spoke to over 250 Amazon employees at Elemental on the importance of FIRST in Oregon. This speech helped to secure $5,000 for seven other FIRST teams in a fashion that Oregon Robotics Development Director Cindy Lebeau described as, “Flawless, engaging, and inspiring,” which gave other teams the opportunity to flourish and expanded the FIRST community.
Catlin Gabel Summer Camps
Catlin Gabel runs a variety of summer camps for middle and elementary school students in Portland. One of the camps is called Engineering for Kids. Over a week, the 1540 head mentor and Team 1540 students teach kids about mechanical, electrical, civil, and game engineering. The camp happens four times per summer, and has inspired many kids to learn more about STEM topics.
Each spring, FRC Team 1540 presents during a school assembly. During the assembly, we demonstrate our robot and explain what it can do. We highlight the design process, mentioning the multiple skill sets of the team’s members. Here, we pitch the Flaming Chickens to our school. The Flaming Chickens also show our end of the year video, a highlight of our growth as individuals and as a team through the year.
Tuition on The Track
Tuition on The Track was a walkathon organized by Catlin Gabel students to raise money for financial aid. Team 1540 participated in this each year by entering our robot as a participant in the walkathon as a contribution to show our support for the event. It also excited younger students to see a robot driving around with a fluffy chicken on board.
Middle School Robotics Curriculum
In 2004, FRC 1540 took an existing robotics curriculum and helped integrate it into the seventh grade curriculum at Catlin Gabel. Since then, our head mentor has become the primary teacher of the curriculum. It has inspired numerous middle school students to join robotics.
Catlin Gabel is a private school, and it requires a steady inflow of applicants. One aspect of the application process is attending one of many open houses hosted by the school each year. Current students and faculty work together to explain the Catlin community, from classes to assemblies. The robotics team is also present at the majority of these open houses, and shows prospective families that engineering is a vital Catlin tradition.
Oregon International Air Show
In 2015, the Flaming Chickens held demonstrations of Quasar at the Oregon International Air Show, our robot for Recycle Rush, in order to promote FIRST and STEM to a broader community.