Summer Outreach

Hey everyone! We’re looking to bolster our outreach efforts this summer. What do people do for outreach during the offseason?

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The team I’m from definitely doesn’t do enough outreach, but what we do tend to do in the offseason for outreach is present to our School Board, help local organizations, and participate in a local street fair.

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For us it depends on the year, but we try to find local community events to go to! For example, our city has a festival called the Rhubarb Festival, and we typically go every year. Events like those are fun to go to, and tend to be simple to set up. My team also hosts summer camps, which are harder to set up but are just as fun.
As the school year comes closer to starting we try and get into the open houses and jumpstart events, at both the middle and high school.

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Summer is a good time for local community events (schools, libraries, community centers, town fairs, etc.); demos for sponsors, municipal government, local business groups; connecting with local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or other community youth organizations; volunteer at local events (we send a group to support the triathlon in our town each summer run by The Rotary).

It’s mostly looking at your local community to see what’s happening and then figuring out how you can help or contribute. Outreach works best when it’s integrated with how your local community operates. If there’s nothing already happening, then ask if you can set up a “touch-a-robot” event at your library or park or something similar.

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Focus on your community! It seems really obvious but, I would look for public events and spaces. Usually, the people are super receptive of this robotics stuff. Our team is also going to start a summer camp for incoming Freshman and anyone who wants to learn. Also, if you have the resources, build fun robots. Football launchers, T-Shirt launchers, anything your team wants. Also use that opportunity to train your rookies and underclassmen.

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We’re up for just about anything.

Besides the obvious ones like the county and state fair, visiting sponsors, and the 4th of July parade, we do things like teach STEM courses for the school district’s summer school, help out at other STEM events like Rocketry club’s day, and so on.

In fact tomorrow, we’re doing the Des Moines CelebrAsian Festival for the second year.

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We are hosting a week long all girls STEM summer camp for absolutely no cost thanks to SWENext and Apple. We are also hosting other general summer camps at little or no charge (pay what you can model) as well as visiting local kids clubs and afterschool programs to do stem activities and learn about robots.

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RoboCamps!

This summer we’re running 8 weeks of camp across two locations with over 400 total K-8th grade, registered, week-long participants.

Camps are supervised by our Lead Teacher and staffed by Citrus Circuits team members.

Some info on how we run them here: Robocamp Resources - Citrus Circuits

Most camps are already full (they usually fill up in a few hours after registration opens) but remaining openings and more info on our 2023 camp offerings can be found here: DYR RoboCamps - Citrus Circuits

Best,

-Mike

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Oooo I think I’ve seen your team at one of these before. I love seeing FRC bots out in the wild at fairs, conferences, etc.

Even if your school does like a summer movie night, have a table there to get eyeballs on the team.

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Some things either done so far since championship or coming up:

  • we do a STEM outreach event with our local AAA baseball team each June
  • a couple of our kids are presenting at a 4-H club in the rural part of our county tonight to help them start an FLL team
  • we are helping with a badge camp for some girl scouts
  • we are running some robots at our local [Sally’s Night] (Sally's Night In Person Events 2023 | National Air and Space Museum) celebration
  • we did a lunchtime presentation to a bunch of engineers at one of our sponsors to help recruit mentors for other teams and volunteers for events
  • we will be helping run a booth at a 2-day air show with the Blue Angels in July
  • we’ll be running a couple of one-day workshops for K-8
  • there was an outdoor STEM-for-everyone event run by the student organization at our state medical school, but it is being rescheduled (it turns out that outdoor events in spring here are not a great idea due to tornadoes)
  • I’m sure other things will come up and things I am forgetting. Once people know you will show up at their events they will ask you all the time. We frequently have to get other teams involved to help distribute the load.

Reach out to FIRST partners (FRC/FTC/FLL) in your region and see if they need help with anything.

Reach out to your sponsors and see if there is anything you can do for them.

If there is a team in your area who does a lot of outreach, reach out to them and see if there is something you can help with.

Check local libraries and youth organizations. I bet they would love to have a robot come visit a meeting.

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We’re not affiliated with a school so we don’t have easy capacity at a venue with classrooms for this, but this is something I’ve been considering for a long time as having huge fundraising potential while still keeping the camps accessible to everyone.

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