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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
as well as to spread 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 teams every year which is made up of grade 5 and 6s.
SWAT 771 had also decided to start a battery recycling project in our school. Students at SMLS are now able to drop off their dead batteries in our team built “Battery Robots”, made from old parts of computers, printers and other old electronics. This project helps save the planet by properly disposing of batteries.
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 and 2. For the grade 4s, SWAT has helped organize a Construction Club for these girls to be able to build and learn about engineering. 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 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 and the Canadian National Exhibition. In addition we have brought the robot to schools like E.C. Drury (school for the deaf) and we are currently working with the school to start the their first FLL team. We also host an annual CAGIS meeting for girls aspiring to seek professions in the sciences.
At a local FIRST Lego League event, SWAT had set up our robot, along with 2 other teams, to show the public and those in the FLL program what the FIRST Robotics Program is.
This past summer, we had also gone to Hobart, Tasmania in Australia and given a presentation to an all girls school there aboutFIRST and SWAT 771. We are also expecting 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.