We are Team SpiderBits 17219, an all-girls FTC team based Laurel, Maryland. Our team mission is to bridge the gender gap in STEM and outreach is one of the most vital ways that we do this. As a FIRST team, our main values include friendly sportsmanship, respect for others, teamwork, learning, and community involvement. We promote these values in our community by making outreach a core part of our team. To us, outreach is connecting with students, peers, adults, and anyone who wants to learn about STEM and teaching them about it. Our main source of outreach is going to elementary and middle schools and teaching workshops about robotics. Just recently, we held a 7 week long club with Whetstone Elementary Schoo, located in Gaithersburg, Marylandl. By sponsoring this club, we were able to visit the school and teach a group of 3-5th graders about different aspects of robotics. Not only did we introduce them to our robot, but we started teaching them how to code, create 3D models, use the engineering design process, and how robots are used in the real world.
The lesson that was the most successful was the public speaking lesson. We thought it would be a great idea to teach the students about public speaking since we use it so much during our competitions, fundraising, and in all sorts of situations on the team. We had each of the students get into small groups and create a pitch to sell an extremely valuable product: a single paperclip. The students were elated at this opportunity and started coming up with interesting ways to make us buy the paperclip from them. Finally, they got to present their pitch to the whole class and see their creativity in action! With this activity, we were able to show them the importance of public speaking and be able to pass on the torch of outreach to the next generation.
Out of all the things we gain from holding these workshops, what our team found the most fulfilling was the feeling of teaching these students about a subject that we are all so passionate about. Going from school to school, making connections with students and teachers alike, as well as hearing about the effects we have on the kids we teach are the best parts of the whole experience. They make all the time and effort put into organizing these events worth it in the end.
This blog was submitted by Aditi C. and Pooja D. of Spiderbits, FTC team 17219 . If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
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