We are part of many communities. The community of our school, the community of Pontiac, and the community of robotics. As Killer Bees, we work with all three communities in different ways.
Road Cleanup In August, the Bees stormed Giddings road in front of our school, which is often littered with trash and debris. Each year, Team 33 pays special attention to how good our robot looks, so we decided to extend this make the road as clean-looking as our robots. Other Purple Alliance teams worked in their communities to clean up also!
Forgotten Harvest- Forgotten Harvest values giving people, not only pre-packaged food, but also warm, fully cooked meals.The Killer Bees, along with teams 68 and 573, went to Forgotten Harvest to help package cooked food. The teams sorted and packed it together, making a mess in the process. The food that is repackaged is sent to people who are less fortunate to provide warm, filling meals.
Baldwin Center- The Killer Bees, along with some of the NHS students at Notre Dame Preparatory and members of Team 68, went to the Baldwin Center. These students helped teach kids about STEM through day camp activities in order to begin the next generation of engineers. The kids were only in elementary school, so we concentrated on extending the lessons they were learning to a hands-on opportunity and they got to drive the robot! We regularly work with the Baldwin Center throughout the school year as a school community. The Baldwin Center concentrates on helping families who are homeless or have few resources.
Kettering Kick-Off- In September, Kettering Kick-Off is the last competition our robot from 2013 plays in with other teams in our area. Just like any other FRC competition, teams play together and against each other, as well as winning awards. After the competition, Teams 33 and 68 helped to tear down the field. They stayed late to help with this and were exhausted the next morning, but it was more than worth it. We also use this event to introduce our newBees to what we do as a team.
American House- The American House is home to many elderly citizens in our community. The Killer Bees along with 573 and 910 went to the American House to teach senior citizens how to use Facebook, Skype, Twitter, email, and many more. The Killer Bees and students from 573 and 910 brought all their devices including iPad’s, laptops, etc. to teach the senior citizens on. This helped the elderly to communicate with their family and many others. They are anxious to watch us on the webcasts of the competitions.
Gleaners- The Killer Bees enjoyed working at Forgotten Harvest so much, we decided to help feed more hungry people. Many of the Bees and students from the Notre Dame Preparatory NHS helped sort pre-packaged food. After the packing the food the food was weighed and sent to hungry families.
Maker Faire– During July each year, the bees go to Maker Faire. Outreach doesn’t stop during the summer. At Maker Faire we demonstrated Buzz XVIII to the participants. Unfortunately, it was raining the night before, and the field flooded. The Killer Bees didn’t want to deny anyone the chance to see the robot and learn about FIRST, so we decided to move outside and demonstrate anyways. Despite the storms, heat and humidity, it was a great success for the team and Buzz XVIII.
VEX Robotics Competition– Weather in Michigan is very unpredictable, and on December 14, Pontiac was hit by inches of snow. That didn’t stop the Killer Bees, however. Team 33 hosted a Michigan VEX Robotics competition at Notre Dame Preparatory. There were 32 teams total competing at our VEX competition, and 5 of those teams were made up of Killer Bees students. The event was a success, and Team 33 plans to host a competition again next year. We use the VEX tournament to help teach all interested students about robotics before the FRC season.
All Girls Competition Co-Host Many of the Bees went to Bloomfield Hills High School for the All Girls Competition. The night before the competition many of the Bees, mentors and students, volunteered to help set up the field, pits, and anything else that needed assistance. The next day the girls played at the competition and co-hosted a Girl Scout event at the same time.
Open House- At the Notre Dame Preparatory Open House, the bees took Buzz XVIII to show visitors the robot and get them interested in robotics. There were many incoming freshman, as well as current students, who came interested in robotics and wanted to know more about it. Potential students had the opportunity to watch the robot, while parents were able to ask questions to the mentors and learn all the benefits of being a member of an FRC team.
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan at Oakland University. – We hosted 2 events for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. For the younger girls, FRC students helped the girls with different stations with information about science, how computers work, robotics, and engineering. Other than the robot, the station building your own stucture with noodles and marshmallows was very popular. The girls learned about STEM careers as they worked at each station. The Girl Scouts were asked what they want to be when they grow up. At the beginning of the day, the young girls had dreams of being actresses, chefs, singers, and many other ambitious ideas, but after they were lead around, a majority of them said they wanted to be engineers, doctors, and other STEM-related careers.
Girl Scouts (Bloomfield Hills)- The Killer Bees led tours of the pit to demonstrate the different types of robots at the All Girls Competition, including our own. The Girl Scouts were introduced to FIRST and watched FRC, They went to the FRC pits, talked to girl engineers, girls on other teams, and learned about being on robotics. Finally, they watched videos on FIRST and were encouraged to join an FLL team. They also earned the Innovation – Product Designer badge.
Corn Roast- New NDP students come to the school during Corn Roast, and school clubs and sports set up booths around the school to recruit students to join their activity. The Killer Bees stood out from the crowd by driving Buzz XVIII down the main hallway of the school. The Bees encouraged the students to join FIRST by telling them the benefits as well as emphasizing all the fun competition season is.
Our Lady of the Lakes- The Lady of the Lakes is our rookie team in which the Killer Bees are helping. We invited them to our Kickoff party and helped them get a jump-start into the FIRST community. After the Kickoff video, their team sat in on the Killer Bees strategy season and gain ideas of how to get started. Throughout the build season, the Killer Bees have kept in contact and visited the team to make sure they are on the right track.
Troy Field Trip– During the FRC Troy event, the Killer Bees allowed middle schoolers to view the event, as well as participate in engineering inspired activities with high school students. The kids were led around by Killer Bees and given an overview of the game as the FIRST program overall.