Swartdogs participate in a wide variety of outreach activities. Some examples of these outreach activities are:
-Dike-New Hartford School District
In 2015, we helped the Dike-New Hartford School District with the creation of a new FIRST Robotics Competition team. We aided Team 6164, “DNH Robotics,” in the process of filling out their registration forms, and we helped set them up for a grant to get them started.
-Waterloo School District
In 2015, we also helped with the creation of a new FIRST Robotics Competition in the neighboring city of neighbor of Waterloo. Team 5837, “Unity4Tech” was aided with an interview that we got them for a grant, as well as a presentation that we gave to interested students and mentors in the area. A mentor that had previously worked with 525 is now working closely with 5837.
-Trunk or Treat
On October 29, 2015 we partnered with our school and an FTC team at our high school to participate in a Food drive fundraiser. We decorated the trunk of a car in orange, black, and green (the Sabre-Hoof Tigers color) and passed out candy to little kids that participated. In order to participate, the kids along with the people decorating a trunk had to donate cans that would go to the North East Iowa Food Bank.
On December 12, 2014 we hosted a Toys for Tots fundraiser at our high school. For $2 or a small toy our peers, teachers, and other staff were allowed to drive our 2012 robot to see how many baskets they could make. We kept track of points and a small prize was given to the person with the highest score at the end of each hour and a grand prize to the person with the highest score of the day.
– Cedar Falls FIRST Lego League Regional Qualifier
Every year our team organizes and hosts an FLL Regional Qualifier. The past couple years it has filled up in only 3 minutes! All team members and mentors volunteer in various positions throughout the day and set up the night before. In addition to volunteering, we sell pizza and pop as a team fundraiser. We also have a demonstration set up in the pits that the FLL teams can stop and see throughout the day.
We were pleased to be invited to show our robot at the Marshalltown FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier in December 2014. While there we got the chance to interact with teams and even see a few matches!
-Iowa State Fair
To help promote STEM throughout the state we show our robot at the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair is also an opportunity for our team members to tell visitors about FIRST and FRC.
Sturgis Falls is an annual week-long celebration in our community. Each year we are contacted to bring our robot to excite children about the robotics programs Cedar Falls Schools have to offer.
-Waterloo Tech Society/Kiwanas
Local professionals enjoy having our team attend their meetings to talk about FIRST Robotics and demonstrate our newest robot. Students are asked a wide variety of questions from technical specifics to team organization.
-STEM Open House
Along with several other STEM related school clubs, we took part in the STEM Open House at the High School on January 12th. This event also showcases the accomplishments of students in Project Lead The Way classes at our school. Many high school teachers, students, and their families attended this event.
On the last Saturday before bag and tag our team hosted its fourth all Iowa scrimmage. The scrimmage allows teams to review rules, have practice driving their robot, and get to know the other Iowa teams before they head to their first regional. This was the first year that all of the Iowa FRC teams were in attendance.
Every year our team hosts an open house. We invite sponsors, family members, school administrators, and the community. This gives everyone an opportunity to see the latest robot. It also gives the students an opportunity to share their excitement for this year’s challenge.
Waterloo Schools offered STEM classes for their students during the summer. Our team led a workshop at our build site explaining all aspects of FIRST Robotics and gave students hands on opportunities.
-John Deere Volunteer Recruitment
Senior executives from John Deere invited our team along with two FTC teams to the Waterloo Tractor Cab Assembly Operations. We were asked to give a presentation to John Deere employees about FIRST and volunteer opportunities. After the presentation we were given a tour of the assembly floor and assembly robots. We were also asked to give presentations to John Deere employees over the summer to inform them about mentoring, upcoming seasons, and volunteering opportunities.