The Westfield High School FIRST Robotics Competition team started, supports and mentors five FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Explore teams for Westfield-Washington Township Elementary School students in 2nd - 4th grade (ages 6-10).
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It's never too early to discover STEM. FIRST LEGO League Explore is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®
Guided by adult coaches and FIRST® Core Values, students build models using LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 and create Show Me posters to present what they learned. The program focuses on building interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a real-world challenge – to be solved by research, critical thinking, and imagination.
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FLL Explore will meet for twelve meetings and an Expo at Westfield High School from February 5th to March 23rd, with the Expo on March 26th. Meetings are held on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with the exception of March 5th and 19th, when there are no meetings.
The teams will be mentored by the high school students on the Westfield High School FRC Team, SHAM-ROCK-BOTICS, along with the professionals that volunteer with the high school robotics team.
In order to participate on the team, each elementary school student must pay $25 to cover the cost of a team t-shirt and other supplies. Students with parents who volunteer to act as coaches and attend the team meetings will have a first priority to join the team. After that, participation on the team will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
SHAM-ROCK-BOTICS is creating a tight-knit community of passionate problem solvers that will graduate from high school ready to take on the world! We do this through hands-on training, community outreach, and intense competitions. As a FIRST Robotics Competition Team, FRC 6956 is based out of Westfield High School. Starting in January, students have six to eight weeks to design, build, and program a 5ft tall, 120 lb robot before competition. Over the “build season” students are hands-on as they learn about trade offs (speed vs. weight), how to CAD parts for the robot, basic tool and machining use, problem-solving, sensor uses, wiring, pneumatics, and programming.
At competitions the high school students have a short turnaround time between matches meaning they have to solve problems on the fly, make decisions about what should be fixed now vs. later, and learn to manage their adrenaline during those intense times. During a match, the team joins an alliance with two partners to compete head-to-head, 3 vs. 3, over a 2 minutes & 30 seconds period. Students learn to work as a team to score as many points as possible, developing valuable communication, teamwork, and leadership skills in the process.
Working side-by-side professional engineers, business professionals, and teachers, students are able to see how their experiences on an FRC team translates to a future career in engineering, programming, business, teaching, and many other professional career paths. The high school students are developing their own mentoring skills by working with the FIRST LEGO League Explore program and mentoring the elementary school students.
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