MVRT reaches out to the school community to promote STEM education and to recruit members for the upcoming build season. We hold two robot demos for the students during our school’s club promotion week, one robot demo for the parents during our school’s parent’s night, and one demo to our school’s staff at the end of the year to show what the students have been working on during the school year. MVRT also provides mechanical help during homecoming week with its interactive floats and decorations.
Fall Festival Demo
MVRT sets a up booth in Cupertino’s annual Fall Festival in September. We showcase our robot to the public and talk about STEM education and FIRST. We spread the word of FIRST and respond to the requests on programs we should implement in the area.
San Jose Tech Museum Demo
MVRT demoed its robot during downtown San Jose Tech Museum’s “Robot Week”. We spoke to the museum’s staff, volunteers, and visitors about FIRST and the impact it has on our community. We spoke to hundreds of Tech Museum guests at this event to show the applications of science and technology that students learn.
BAE Zero1 Art Show
MVRT was invited by BAE Systems (one of our major sponsors) to a robotics event at San Jose Art Museum. MVRT demoed its robot with other teams in the Bay Area and spoke to the public about FIRST and its impact on the world.
MVRT, in partnership with our school (Monta Vista High School), developed an environmental project called the E-Waste Drive. People from the community donated used electronic parts during the drive, and the school and the members delivered it to places that could use the used parts to make other electronic parts.
ThinkFIRST is an after school program at Lincoln Elementary School, and teaches basic physics concepts to elementary school students through creative experimentation. This program was started when the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at Lincoln Elementary School was canceled due to financial cuts. The Monta Vista Robotics Team stepped in by providing high school student teachers and supplies to continue the physics program. Such activities included building marshmallow bridges to demonstrate center of gravity, mixing vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate chemical reactions, and constructing newspaper roller coasters to demonstrate kinetic and potential energy.
Future Stars Robotics Program
MVRT partnered up with Future Stars, a college preparatory program for underprivileged minority students, and two other FIRST teams (846 and 1868) to create a robotics summer camp. We held two sessions, with each session meeting six days in the span of two weeks to teach the engineering process, including designing, building, programming, and testing their robots made from the NXT LEGO Mindstorm Kit. Along the way, the students learned about center of gravity, friction, gear ratios, and presentation skills. At the end of each session, the teams competed with each other on a friendly competition with the FIRST Lego League challenges.
Mike Honda STEM Promotion
In August 2008, we supported Mike Honda’s STEM initiative and bill by speaking at a press event and demoing our robot to an audience of over a hundred. Student Aravindh and mentor Mr. Shinta spoke at this press event. We also demonstrated our robot to show the importance of STEM education in our society and the importance of the passage of the bill (which was co-authored by then Senator Obama) Also, for the 2009 Kickoff we had a representative from the congressman's office speak to our team and the guest teams about STEM education.