BUILDING KIDS! BUILDING COMMUNITY! BUILDING A LEGACY!
a PARTNERSHIP WITH West Ottawa Public Schools and many wonderful Sponsors
One thing that we do for the community every year is help with planting tulip bulbs in the fall for Tulip Time that comes around every May. The mentors, parents, and students go downtown to help plant the bulbs. Everyone has a lot of fun and we are proud to be able to help our community. When we go back to the tulip beds during the festival and see the beautiful flowers blooming, everyone is filled with pride. For a couple years, we've had our FTC students join us and were glad to have them join us this year again.
Tulip Time's Big Parade
For many years we have had a float in the Holland, Michigan Tulip Time Big Band Parade. With the float, we are able to spread the word of FIRST to hundreds of television viewers and thousands of local visitors. For several years, we have involved all of our students from all four groups of FIRST; FLL Jr. , FLL, FTC, and FRC. Over the years we have been able to meet several different politicians and share FIRST with them.
Wings of Mercy
We volunteer to work at a wonderful event called Wings of Mercy. All of the profits made go to fund flights for patients who need to be transfered to medical centers that are a great distance away. The students served food from the pancake breakfast fund raiser and cleaned up afterwards. The students were also able to talk with members of the organization and take rides in the aircraft. We also show our robot at this event. We look forward to helping out every year.
BPW Recycle Day
For several years we have teamed up with the Holland Board of Public Works to help with their Recycle Day events. The community is available to come to deposit their old and broken electronics to be recycled appropriately instead of ending up in the landfill. The team helps unload cars and sort the items into the appropriate containers. We also have our robots set up to bring info about FIRST to people who may not know about it.
Stuff The Bus
We help every year with an event called "Stuff the Bus". Students go to a Spartan market and stand outside and collect canned goods, essentials, and sometimes cash donations. As the donations are collected, we put the products onto a school bus. At the end of the event, the bus takes the products to the Community Action House, where we help to off-load.
North Holland Carnival Night
The team volunteered SW Carnival Night. Students ran all of the games and displayed the drone. We had the robot set up in the hall and turned it in to a game, having the kids roll a ball to the bot and catch the ball once it was launched.
Guest Speaker Covered Bridge Reconstruction
In November 2018, we had a guest speaker, a restoration engineer, who talked with us about a project she is working on. A couple years ago someone set fire to a historic covered bridge in Belding, Mi. She explained to us how she took the measurements from the past bridge to figure out the new measurements. They used Legos to build a model and were trying find the best source of material to use to rebuild for strength and cost. She will let us know in the future about how things progress. This guest speaker's visit helped open the idea to our students that there are different types of jobs that involve engineering than your typical jobs.
Our team was invited to join our school's transportation department end of the year festivities, Bus Rodeo. The students were able to share with our current bus drivers what FIRST is and their personal experiences. The experience was a positive one, full of fun, and respect to our department staff.
Our team went to the new BPW Power Plant in Holland Michigan and were given a tour. Mr. Koster showed us all of the different stations of operation. Not only does the plant support the community with energy but it also operates the unique system that heats the sidewalks of downtown Holland. It keeps the snow melted and sidewalks and streets clear of ice all winter long. After the tour, the group was able to go to the education center and interact with displays that educate further in energy use. The tour has given our students a better understanding and the time helped us bond with our sponsor.
A summer project for our team was taking a tour of Stryker in Kalamazoo, Mi. It was a great way to see how new technology techniques are being combined with existing medical devices. It was a great experience for our students and helped to expand their knowledge base in engineering.
Request Foods Picnic
Our team volunteered to work at a local food company's company picnic here in Holland, Mi. The team worked in the parking lot and kept the trash cleared. We also had an area where the team had the robot set up and could share FIRST with the employees.
Last year in Alabama, we were lucky enough to tour the Space Museum. It was a great experience for the whole team.
Shop N Dine
In December 2018 we held our second vendor/craft show which had many different aspects to it. We had many vendors come and set up their booths for customers to enjoy while wandering around. We also had dinner, silent auction, raffles, and a gift wrapping station which was all WOBOT student/mentor run. We also had a robot hall which featured every legacy robot over the past 15 years. Each robot had a music stand with the years scrapbook next to it which would let viewers know what the game was and what the team did during that year. The students ran a couple of the most current robots and let children interact with the robots. Everyone had a great time and we are greatful for everyone who came.
FIRST CREE Lightbulbs
The team participated in distributing FIRST LED light bulbs to people in the community who have Holland BPW as their energy supplier. As well as distributing we took the opportunity to set up a booth at many of our events which had examples of three types of light bulbs in identical lamps. The lamps had energy monitors attached to show the visitors how much energy they can save by changing to a more energy efficient light bulb. The students where fascinated by the information and were enthusiastic to share this with people.
Purple Power is a funding program through Van Andel, providing support for finding the cure to a range of cancers. With Purple Power, some members from the team go to the basketball game (which is the biggest event for Purple Power), and shoot WOBOT t-shirts from our team's t-shirt cannon.
Building Lego League Fields
For many years we build game pieces and work at the Lego Mania Lego League competition. When the shipment arrives, the students work together to build the many pieces that are involved in the game. One box at a time, each group takes their numbered bags, find the instructions on-line, and builds each piece perfectly. Once the pieces are built and inspected by a couple of people, the group then locks the pieces into their designated location on the game mat. Once everything is set, they are then packaged in separate containers (by table) and taken to the competition. The night before competition the team members then set up the tables and make sure everything is in 100% working order. The WOBOT team looks forward to doing this every year (truth: we like to play with Legos).
Lego League Competitions
Along with building the fields for the Lego Competitions, we also volunteer to work at them. Students and mentors are assigned to multiple roles such as tech support, registration, judges, and referees. This is always a fun event and is looked forward to by everyone on our team. Many of our alumni come to help out during this event.
For the past couple of years we have held a FTC team "West Ottawa Warriors # 6070 (W.O.W.)". The WOBOT mentors and students help lead the FTC team, learning how to analyze the game at kickoff and learning how to use the tools. The students really connect and look up to the high school students. With the bond created it makes the transition into the high school team a little easier. We look forward to the FTC students (who decided to continue) to join the WOBOT when they are old enough.
Build-A-Brush Bot with Wobot Night
On Monday night the team went to Herrick Library and ran a "build a brush bot" work shop with local resident children. We also had the opportunity to talk to everyone about FLL JR, FLL, FTC, AND FRC, with displays set up around the room. Everyone had a fun night.
Bot in the Lot
Every year, the team does Bot in the Lot shows, where the team goes to a sponsor and shows our bot. We do this because we like to show our sponsors our appreciation and we like to show them how their donations helped us learn throughout the season.
With our school's drone, two members from our team fly at events such as assemblies, homecoming games, football games, and many other events.
Team 6114-Do The Thing
Year 2016, the team helped rookie team 6114-"Do The Thing" with their robot design and many other things. This team is just one example of the numerous teams we've helped over the years. We enjoy helping and supporting new/continuing teams, while watching them grow and become a great team.
All Girls Competition
We have competed at the Grand Rapids All Girls Competition held each year in GR. Our girls on the team get exclusive rights to work on the robot, form all girl drive teams and make all the decisions as they compete. It is a fun, exciting event for everyone involved!
Our team co-sponsors the West Michigan Robotics Invitational), held each year in Zeeland. Area teams come together to play last year's game one more time. It's a great way to introduce new team members to the world of FIRST so they have a complete understanding of what to expect at a competition. It is always so much fun for everyone and gets everyone ready for January's kickoff event.
Bot Cave Tour for Lego League Teams
One evening last year one of the lego league teams came to our Bot Cave and we gave them a tour. Along with showing the robot, we had many different team building interaction stations for the students. The high schoolers where able to give the lego league students encouragement for everything they were doing and good luck to their future competitions. One of the Parents who attended the event shared with us this year that the lego league students felt good to have the support of the High Schoolers cheering them on. It meant alot to them.
Hope College Classes
During the Summer, a couple of our team members held a Lego League class for many young students at Hope College.
Advanced Enigneering Expo Shows
For several years our team has attended the Advanced Engineering Expo in Novi and Grand Rapids. Attending the Shows give the team a great opportunity to share the First Program and build partnerships between the different businesses.
Talon Sentinel Board
Summer 2016 brought a group of students and mentors from teams 141 WOBOT and 2767 Stryke Force together to develop a new "Sentinel Board". The current ones on market were good but were missing a capability we found was needed. The group analyzed and researched the need, the cost, and the possibility of completion. Once the discussions were complete the group went to a company in Chicago (Sunrise Electronics) and had the board etched out and shopped for supplies. The group then went to Petra Electronics in Hopkins, Michigan and stuffed the components. From there the group contacted AndyMark and developed a business deal. The group then mass-produced more of the boards and these are currently available for purchase.
This year we have had the great privilege of owning a 3D Printer made by 3D Platform. With this upgrade in tools many more of our students have had the opportunity to learn how to develop on the computer, and print robot parts on the Printer. The process has been a real treat for the students to see the whole process through beginning to the end. With many businesses having a similar process of developing parts for customers ranging from laser cutting, aluminum molding, and/ or plastic 3D Printing the students gain real life experience and can decide if this is the path they want to peruse in the future. Along with gaining the experience they are able to show younger generations the machine process and spark a fire.
On a special Robotics Themed night at the Grand Rapids Hockey team "The Griffins", the team joined other robotics teams and set up a booth with our robot and was given the opportunity to talk to the public about FIRST. Along with the booth, the different teams where invited to go out on the ice during half time and shoot our team t-shirts out into the stands with our own t-shirt gun. Our t-shirt shooter was a crowd favorite because we had the power to shoot up in the second level of the stands.
Elementary Science Fairs
The team attends many of our local elementary school's science fairs. We set up the robot so it can function and interact with the students, whether it's our Frisbee robot, our ball shooter robot, or one of our other legacy bots. Close-up looks inside the robot are a crowd draw, and anyone on the team is available to answer questions. We also display the WO-Drone; whether on a table or flying. Along with the robot and the drone we also like to set up science experiments for the kids to try.
Lakewood Book Fair
The team went to one of our elementary schools (Lakewood) and helped inspire the students as we encouraged reading habits. The team showed the students lasts year's robot. Along with showing what the robot can do, The team also told them about the building process from start to finish. We also showed the students the game video. The team told the students that without reading and imagination, we could not build our robot. The school gave every student a book featuring a robot and his adventures. The students had a blast at the assembly and gave high fives to the team mates when leaving.
School Road Shows
The team travels to many elementary schools at the end of the year, where we show the robot to the students and answer questions that they may have. It gives the students something to look forward to for High School and a few of our current student members have shared that they were inspired when the team came to their school and it was one of their favorite days.
This Fall 2018, News WOOD TV 8, held a food collecting competition between many of the West Michigan schools. When it was our schools turn to turn in our collected food we took the opportunity to bring attention to First by putting some of the food on a cart and had the robot drive around trailing the food behind.
Good Morning WZZM
One morning this Fall 2018, students from many of the clubs and sports teams at West Ottawa gathered together to film the Good Morning introduction video for the news segment that morning. We had a small group of students represent our group wearing teams shirts and standing next our last years robot.
Every year we take the time to celebrate everyones accomplishments after the school year has ended by holding a Celebration Banquet. We as mentors hand out special awards to students who went above and beyond in their tasks. This encourages that student to continue their hard work and encourages students that yes their hard work is seen and recognized. Last year we expanded the celebration to include our FTC Middle school team along with the FRC High school team. Along with dinner and awards, we say good bye to our Seniors with speeches, tears, and best wishes. At the very end of the celebration we have a little fun with an auction of souvenirs from this year. This a party everyone looks forward to every year.
Tunnel Park Summer Picnic
Every year our team likes to get together with our past and current members at a local park. We refer to the Picnic as a Family Reunion since we refer to everyone who has been on the team a family member. Along with a Potluck styled Picnic the group hangs out, plays games (corn hole, horse shoes, bu-gee ball, etc), draws on the sidewalk with the little wobot members, play on the play ground, and takes a swim in a Lake Michigan. It is a beautiful and fun day to be together. This Picnic is a favorite by everyone and is looked forward to every year.
Every year we help at Freshman Orientation by showing a robot from the previous year, as well as providing information about FIRST and the team. We answer questions and share about what FIRST has done for us.
As a course for High Schoolers to take, "Tech Support Internship" provides a chance for robotics students to become involved in the support of the 1:1 Chromebook devices at West Ottawa. They learn real life experience with honing customers service skills and figuring out how to repair computers students use everyday. Mr. Johnson, our assistant coach, heads up TSI with another teacher and sees many robotics students as hard workers in this course.
Every year, we support our graduating Seniors by acknowledging their accomplishments in First Robotics by giving each student a red, white, and blue cord to wear over their robes.