Team 33, the Killer Bees, strive to go outside of our work space at CTC to bring the buzz about FIRST to the Notre Dame Prep community. We start this cycle every year at the Corn Roast in August, which is an opportunity for incoming freshman to learn about clubs, sports, and academics at NDP. These freshman find themselves surrounded by poster boards, sign-up sheets, and presentations from dozens of clubs. So how do the Killer Bees stand out to the freshman? Each year, the driver, operator, and many other team members bring the previous game’s robot to the school and drive it around. This shows the freshman a robot from the very beginning, and they are always amazed by the engineering and technology skill that goes into it. Each frisbee (or whatever the game piece of the year was) that flies out of the robot attracts more kids to the sign-up sheet for Team 33. While the kids are distracted by the robots many functions, the team members talk to the parents about all the ways they’ve benefitted from their position from the team.
After the Corn Roast, the Killer Bees have recruited most of our team members for the current year, but we are already ready to jump into recruiting middle schoolers for future years. The school holds an open house in November each years where eighth graders, or sometimes even younger kids, come to tour the school. Just like at Corn Roast, their eyes are drawn to many exhibits for different clubs, and the Killer Bees risk being unnoticed. So we once again bring the robot, and this time we have a whole room to ourselves. We drive around and shoot the game pieces, but we also explain FIRST to the middle schoolers. For many of the non-FLL kids, this is their first exposure to competitive robotics and STEM, and we need to make sure they remember it. After making an impression with the robot, we explain FIRST to them and all the life skills it brings, while also being one of the most fun high school experiences.
During the school year, the Killer Bees aim to make our name known to the students in the school. Each winter, a pep rally is held for winter sports team, and since the FIRST build season is in January/February, Team 33 is featured in this pep rally. The robot drives around, and the team progresses onto the court. Bees on the team can even earn a varsity letter after two years and significant contributions to the team. In addition, on days before competitions, the Killer Bees strut their Pantone123C shirts around the school while the girls display their black and yellow striped tights. One of the things the Killer Bees are most well-known for is our enthusiastic teacher and mentor Ms. McGinnis. She wears Killer Bee antenna around the school often and always has some bee accessories on and around her. She inspires both the team and the rest of the school to be passionate about STEM and FIRST. In order to keep our school interested, during the State and World Championship competitions, our principal announces our most recent matches and ranking in between class periods.