Being on a robotics team isn’t just about the competitions. It’s also about spreading the word about robotics and FIRST and STEM to the community. It’s about inspiring others, encouraging others, helping others–even those on other teams. We strive to reach out to the educational, civil, and engineering communities alike to demonstrate and hopefully extend our passion for robotics. Outreach takes many different forms and even the smallest of actions can have an impact.
The team has been working throughout the season on a simulation Mars Rover which we designed and built for the Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, CT. The robot is equipped with a wireless camera and drives around a Martian environment with a custom designed mat and hand-crafted foam rocks. The Discovery Museum plans on using this robot as a platform to get kids excited about space, science, and robotics. From driving it down the hallway of the Discovery Magnet School, to having projects where students design interchangeable sensor modules for the robot, to letting students give it a whirl in classrooms across the city of Bridgeport.
On April 16th, the team delivered the rover to the museum, and gave a demonstration of its abilities to members of the Discovery Museum staff, including David Mestre, Manager of Space Science Education, Lynn Harris Olins, Director of Education, Adam Zuckerman, Director of Exhibits, and Danielle LaChance, Manager of Education and Guest Services.
On May 2nd, the team demoed the rover at the museum during a special event for Staples High School Alumni. The team demoed the rover to attendees, including Westport Board of Education member Mark Mathias, and was recognized by Discovery Museum Executive Director Stephen Baumann for our service to the community in building the rover.