The circle of FRC and the importance of outreach

Yesterday, Stuyvesant Robotics did a demo at the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan from 4-7pm. This was very special to me because I found out that FIRST robotics existed at a demo from the same team and the same location. It was many years ago, in fact some of the students doing the demo weren’t even born yet!

Me standing in front of a robot at the winter garden

I’m not exactly sure when the last demo there was but I think it was 2006 or 2007. I remember attending one competition as a spectator and another as a volunteer before volunteering as a mentor starting the 2009-2010 season. Either way, that’s a long time ago.

It’s a lot of fun at an outreach event because you get to share with others what makes this cool. And you get to see excited little kids learn about the robot. The pictures also shows driving a smaller FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) robot and rolling the ball to the big FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) robot to acquire it.

You never know who you will reach at an outreach event. They got me all these years ago. Coming full circle and seeing the event in the same place as a team member was great. Hopefully it won’t be well over another decade before the next demo in this location!

Teenagers showing two young children a robot
Young child driving a robot
young child rolling a ball to a robot