TAKING FIRST TO THE STREETS
A DIFFERENT AUDIENCE
"Taking FIRST To the Streets" is an outreach program that we created in 2011. Its purpose is to get us outside at community events one wouldn't usually see robotics or STEM. The IRS participates a varienty of events, from small community gatherings such as art walks to huge festivals like Issaquah Salmon Days, which is the largest festival in Washington State. Through "Taking FIRST To the Streets," we've reached thousands of new people. But we can't reach everyone, so we join other FIRST teams at events to build new relationships and increase our impact.
A LASTING IMPACT
At outreach events, we let folks play with our robots, talk to them, answer questions, and hand out flyers. Sources tell us that after our events, FIRST WA has seen a 4-5 fold increase in emails. We get involved with our crowds, and ensure they know how to get involved with us. We promote FIRST programs to everyone, no matter their age. We've inspired every school in our district to get involved with robotics. Through this outreach program, teams outside our district have gotten inspired too.
THE ART PROJECT
WHAT DOES A.R.T. STAND FOR?
ART stands for Audit, Respond, and Teach. Founded in the summer of 2017, its purpose is to not only engage and inspire the community, but to teach it. This means taking on technical odd jobs and assisting more FIRST teams. We start out by "auditing," or investigating, a problem. Then we respond to the situation, fulfilling the job or solving an issue. Finally, we teach others how we arrived at our solution in order to ensure sustainability and future problem solving. This method helps the community in the short term through our volunteering, and the long term through our teaching. Our ultimate goal is to give our community the integral STEM skills that we have aquired through robotics.
WHAT WE'VE DONE
We've mentored multiple schools in our district, including the Issaquah Middle School FLL team, which we've worked with since inspiring its creation. We mentor and assist teams from Central Washington to Silicon Valley, not limiting ourselves by geography. From organizing a summer camp at the Issaquah Library to building an attendance system with blockchain technology for high school clubs, our members set out to volunteer their time and experience. Recently, the IRS started a Special Olympics robotics team at Issaquah High School with Unified Robotics.
HAVE A REQUEST?
We'd be happy to hear about it! Whether it's an idea for an ART Project or if you want us to attend an event, we're excited to see how we can help. Please visit the Contact page to submit your message.
AT SCIENCE FAIRS
The IRS goes to science fairs throughout and beyond the Issaquah School District. We used to contact schools to join their science fairs. Today, due to a growing reputation, schools and even sponsors ask us to attend science fairs. There, kids play with robots and parents get educated about FIRST and how to get involved.
WITH OUR SCHOOL
The IRS makes ourselves known at school assemblies and club fairs, broadcasting our achievements. Through marketing and positive word-of-mouth, we've rapidly increased in size to one of the largest FRC teams in the region. Because of our efforts to promote FIRST robotics, our school district increased funding for robotics clubs at every Issaquah school. New FIRST teams have sprung up at local elementary and middle schools because of this accomplishment, and we gained more resources from our high school.
WITH PNW FIRST
Team 1318 formed the Issaquah Robotics Alliance to help local robotics teams. From invitations to fall classes to lending our drive train, we try to help in any way possible. We also hold an annual party for local robotics teams, the PNW Social. There, members of various teams socialize over various FIRST-themed games and activities.
WITH THE GOVERNMENT
Back in 2007, funding was tight for the IRS, and the loss of mentors imminent. Yet, we didn't give up hope. We went all the way to Olympia, the state capitol, to gain more funding for every Washington State FIRST team. Today, the IRS continues to contact Olympia. Additionally, we have a relationship with local government, presenting to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.
We don't just keep in-touch with potential members, but also former ones. Our alumni go on to amazing places, and we invite them back every year to our Alumni Holiday Party, along with team social events and family potlucks. Some alumni have returned over the years as mentors or connected us to new sponsors.
Along with presentations and visits, Team 1318 sends our sponsors notebooks and packets which highlight our engineering process, robot details, outreach events, and team accomplishments. To express our gratitude to our sposnors, we're more than willing to attend their events.