Summer Outreach

Summer is in full swing! While we are looking forward to competing in TRI and TRR this summer, the slowed pace has allowed us time to focus on outreach in our area as well.

Right before championships on April 21st, we were asked by our principal, Mr. Mays to visit Hill Middle School and show off our robot to prospective students that might join the new Conrad Academy next fall. We’re always happy to support these requests and possibly recruit the next generation of RoboChargers!

Our team was also invited to share our experiences on how robotics supports secondary education as the key note speakers on May 7th at the DISD job fair for new teachers. Our 2016 competition robot was still in shipping from champs, and our practice bot was down for the count with yet another stripped 20T gear in the 3rd stage… so we broke out our 2014 robot, Bolt for an encore performance. Our efforts were enough to make it onto the DISD blog as well!

Students take the lead in showing off Bolt
Students take the lead in showing off Bolt


For the third year running, we were invited to go to Texas Instruments to show off our robot and team at the annual “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on June 8th. Each year, hundreds, if not thousands of TI parents bring their children to work to learn about what TI employees do, as well as participate in fun STEM activities. Our goal as a team is to highlight to future FIRST students and mentors how much fun robotics can be! This year, we were able to set up a half field and invited our friends from Plano Senior High and the Plano STEAM Academy to join us.


Finally, on June 16th, TI Corporate Citizenship hosted a workshop half-day to show college bound DISD students what a future job at TI could look like for them. Mentors Walter Schnoor, Amy Schnoor, and Steven Smith described their jobs in two of the workshops, while the RoboCharger students showed up their 2016 robot in another.

RoboChargers show off Koopa to other DISD students

As an added bonus, mentor John Griffith was able to take the team into one of the brand new TI labs to show off how he tests parts for customers to ensure they meet specs for RF interference. We’re still not 100% sure what he does, but he sure had a lot of cool looking equipment 🙂

Mentor John Griffith shows off his lab to students

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