Hosting Portland-Metro/SW Washington FRC Kickoff
The Green Wrenches, for two consecutive years (2011 & 2012), have hosted the Kick Off for their region. The first one, on January 8th, 2011, was such a great success that they were asked again to host the Kick Off for the following year. During their first year, Deb Mum-Hill, the FIRST Coordinator of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, asked the Green Wrenches to help host the 2011 Kick Off for LogoMotion along with two neighboring teams, Team Mean Machine (#2417) and the Storm Bots (#2811). With these three teams working together, the Kick Off went very smoothly. The Kick Off was spaced out throughout the school; they used the auditorium for the assembly, the cafeteria for the team meeting spot and set up half the game field for the teams to see. Classrooms were also to use as workshops for various components of FIRST; from building parts of the robot to pneumatics to using provided software. These workshops were taught by various teams as well as to various levels. A few teams that were a major highlight were Wilsonville ‘Error Code Zero’ and Westview ‘Wild Cats’. Anyone who has been to a FIRST Kick Off can sympathize with how crazy the event can be; starting early and ending late on the afternoon tends to have a heavy toll on people.
Sponsor presentations are a special treat for the Evergreen Robotics team. They get to present their robot to the companies who are willing to sponsor them all the while being able to interact with the employees and get inside
information on the careers they will eventually partake in. We present to many companies and associations and the team is always proud of their robot, especially show their appreciation to those who support them. We’ve been to a neighborhood association meeting and showed them what kind of opportunities that is available to students in their area. Not to mention the businesses like US Digital, Coast Aluminum, and Riverview Community Bank and all the other companies we have and will present to.
Lego Robotics Camp
For four days over the summer, some of the team went to Washington State University in Vancouver to volunteer at a MESA summer camp. During the morning, they helped some middle school students build and program Lego robots. At the end of the week, the middle school students participated in a competition that the team created using parts of past FLL games. The event helped the team get even more involved with the community by inspiring the future generations of people as well as setting FIRST into the hearts of the young. Some of the team mentors coach FLL teams in the area and some even volunteer at competitions. This year, there were also a great handful of team members whom participated in the event.
Feature FIRST Robotics at sporting events
Evergreen High school is a big supporter of our team. We are asked to present at football games, basketball games, and even school assemblies. We have a robot that we modified from a motorized wheel chair and air canisters to shoot T-shirts at the audience. The students get hyped up when we present during half time, everyone wants a t-shirt from a robot.
Google hosted an event to support science and technology in the community. The Green Wrenches, along with a few other FRC teams were invited to present at The Dalles in Oregon and they gladly accepted and took along other members to the event. The event was a lot like a science fair but showing appreciation for science and different technical groups’ creations. There was an aerospace group that had a model size airplane, an outer space group that made a land rover, and a few FTC and FRC teams. Our team showed off our robot and how the team has helped us grow as a person and as a team player. This was a great event for the team and for the Oregon community.
Easter egg Hunt
US Digital, one of the many sponsors, asked the Green Wrenches if they would be willing to participate at their church’s Easter Egg Hunt using a T-shirt launcher the team built for school events. The team was going to shoot plastic eggs filled with candy out into the field where the Easter egg Hunt. It sounded like a lot of fun, so the team signed up. Team Mean Machine also went alone and brought their robot to launch plastic eggs. The T-shirt cannon consisted of a bottom of a motorized wheel chair and several air canisters as well as a huge PVC pipe to launch the T-shirts, which was used to shoot plastic eggs filled with candy for this event. Once the team was ready with the robot, they made a few practice runs to make sure everything worked. They had to also test different pressures to see how well the eggs would shoot. At 80 PSI, the eggs split open and all the candy spilled out. Smarties also exploded. So the team settled with 65-70 PSI for the event.
Fircrest Neighborhood Picnic
Fircrest is a neighborhood within our school district. They were having an event where anyone who had something to display or show could have an area for their group or themselves. Some people had some wood work on display that you could buy if you wanted. Another area had arts a crafts, their were huge inflatables that kids could play on, and so much more. To say the least our team did attend this event with our 2011 season robot. Many kids, teenagers, and adults walked by our robot. Some of them wanted to learn more robotics. The team was happy to be able to spread the word of robotics and FIRST in general for everything they give students.
Keen is a footwear company who had opened their recreation room to the community to allow FIRST robotics teams to talk about FIRST why it is such a great organization to be a part of. There, the Green Wrenches along with another FRC team and FTC and FLL teams to talk about ways FIRST has influenced them and helped them move forward in their lives as well learn, grow, and develop as a person. The event helped spread FIRST around the community; even the state senator was present.
La Center Our Days is a local festival that contains activities for children, as well as booths for different organizations. Our robotics team brought our 2009 FRC robot to a booth to spread the message about FIRST. We had the robot hooked up to a control, and let people who passed by control the various combines and spinners on the robot, as well as feed balls into the intake, giving them an opportunity to see what cool things could be done.
US Digital Event
US Digital is one of our major company sponsors. They asked us to come present in their warehouse for all the employees to see. There was a game field set up and a neighboring team joined us as well. The employees that came to see the robot were astounded by the work that was done by only kids in high school. The team(s) even let the employees drive the robots and ask as many questions as they wanted. At the end of the demonstration there was a lunch provided and where both teams were able to give a ‘Thank You’ presentation for sponsoring our team(s). In all this was a very fun event for our team.
ORTOP – Sand in the City
Sand in the city is located at Pioneers Square in Portland, Oregon. This event is a fundraiser for Impact Northwest. They have dozens of activities such as zoo animals, science and independent gardens, jazz in the city, and an OMSI/LEGO robotics exhibit. In addition some people came and built amazing sane sculptures. To say the least the team went to promote robotics. They weren’t directly related to the OMSI exhibit but they had a booth and helped out a Lego robotics team and informed people who attended about FIRST and Lego robotics and all the different things about it.
4th of July Fundraiser/BBQ
Evergreen Robotics Booster Club & Team2517 host a fundraiser and BBQ every year during the Vancouver Fireworks show on the 4th of July. While team members raised funds for the team by selling green lightsabers to community memebers they discussed what FIRST is all about and demostrated thier robot to them.
What are Dozer Days? Dozer Days are a really big event in the Vancouver and Camas area hosted by the Nutter Foundation during May. It is similar to going to a fair, but the rides are heavy construction equipment. Young kids were able to sit in the driver’s seat with a professional operator at their side; but the best part is that kids actually got to drive heavy machinery. The team was able to participate in this great event as safety volunteers as able as got to operate a business booth to promote FIRST as well as the team. Our team participates by bringing our robot and showing them that they can be involved with robotics no matter what age they are.
Middle School Presentations
We had several robot demonstrations to students at middle schools in Evergreen Public Schools. The presentations and robot demonstrations were flawless, and the students were very interested to see the various features of our robot, asking many questions. Students and teachers had a great time driving the robot. With our demonstrations and assistance, middle schools will likely start its own FIRST Lego Robotics Team and compete in the 2011 FRC season.