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To spread the word of FIRST among our school we have held full-school assemblies to encourage involvement in FIRST programs.
SWAT also published a book called “Millie Find’s a Wrench” the story follows a curious girl names millie who build and takes apart things with a wrench that she finds. the story was created to show that curiosity in young girls should be promoted and not looked down on. The book was read to and placed in classrooms and libraries across our school.
As well as spreading the message of FIRST, we have been updating our school community on the progress of our team via our school emailing system. In addition, we have been published in our school’s grade 7 and 8 newsletter and full school newsletter. We frequently put our robot on display at our school’s open house as well as other major school events that are open to both the public and the school community.
St. Mildred’s also has a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Council (STEM). This council has been active in spreading the fun of Science and Math in the school. From holding a “Find-the-Mole” on Mole Day to handing out free pie on Pi day.
For our grade 7 and 8s, we hold an Engineering Day every year so everyone in those grades can get the opportunity to explore, learn and have fun with activities about Science and Engineering. Our school is also home to two FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams every year which is made up of grade 5 and 6s.
To spread knowledge of FIRST in the primary grades our team has presented to the kindergartners. We have also started three Jr. FIRST Lego League teams for girls in grade 1 through 3. For the grade 4s, SWAT has helped organize a non-competitive FLL for these girls to be able to build and learn about engineering. Leading up to FRC, the sixth and seventh graders participate in FLL; and VEX robotics as part of science class in grade 7. Grades 8 and up are all welcome to join our FRC team, SWAT 771. We currently have a FIRST based program accessible to every girl in our school ranging from Kindergarden to grade 12.
SWAT 771 hosts an annual Robotics Symposium (aka SWATposium) in the fall for local teams to come together and share knowledge to prepare for the upcoming season. This event consists of guest speakers, many workshops, a team social and much more. Other teams are able to contribute by running a workshop and sharing what they know. This is a popular event in our local community and we have many teams come to participate from all over the area.
To spread knowledge of FIRST to the local community we have displayed the robot on various events including Special Olympics, Midnight Madness and Robo-Expo . We also help start and run the CAGIS (Canadian Association for Girls in Science) for the second year, meeting with girls aspiring to seek professions in the sciences.
A group of SWAT girls was invited to China in July 2017 to mentor and participate in CRC. The girls had an amazing time working with many international and local teams. SWAT ran a a workshop for “Girls in Stem” which advocated for equality in STEM fields. SWAT also made it the finals of CRC and had an expectational time representing Canada and making lifelong connections
SWAT has also gone to Hobart, Tasmania in Australia and given a presentation to an all girls school there about FIRST and SWAT 771. We also hosted 2 Australian exchange students to join for the 2012 build season.
Our team continues to sponsor a young girl in Kenya, Peres. Girls on the team takes turns in sponsoring and writing a letter to Peres. We have also run a Lego drive for Kenya. SWAT was able to collect Lego and send it to Kenya for the children there to learn and play with.
We have taken advantage of our school’s global connections. When we traveled to Japan with out school, we gave presentation on FIRST and SWAT. Also, when our Chinese exchange students come out to visit us in January, we give presentations to 60+ Chinese students about our robotics team and FRC.