We handle the logistics that make it possible for the team to participate in FIRST Tech Challenge competitions. In other words, we make sure the team has everything it needs to function at its best. We assist with grant writing and fund raising events, order parts and supplies, and handle all the paperwork necessary to function as a club on our campus. We also work with the other subteams to ensure that our engineering notebook is current and that every aspect of the development process is well-documented.
As the team develops and builds a robot throughout the season, new parts or materials must be purchased to replenish resources. And in order to upgrade the robot and it's capabilities, the team must take into account what materials need to be bought and what financial resources will support that. The purchasing committee logs and maintains a record of past and recent purchases, so that the team does not spend more than the budget it has been allocated and can sustain itself financially for the season.
Every year the engineering portfolio is constructed and presented to a panelist of judges who rank and review the documented progress and process of participating teams. For Team 6282, the engineering portfolio consists of 15 pages, content varying from any and all team meetings as well as photographic displays of the tasks being worked on. It is critical that the engineering notebook clearly and concisely communicates the process of any engineering activity, outreach event, or general matters of the team. This helps the engineering portfolio stand out from others during judge panel reviews, become a source of reflection at the end of the season, as well as a source of inspiration for future seasons.
There are many events that happen outside of robotics competitions. In outreach, we plan and organize events with other robotic teams and local community groups. We reach out to incoming students and inform them about the different careers in software and how robotics is a great way to get into programming or engineering.
Our team participated in the SVUSD STEAM expo where we had the opportunity to design a demonstration to showcase the FTC program. We coordinated with the three other FTC teams we helped to start in 2021, allowing the people at the expo to discover what FIRST Tech Challenge is about. We reached just over 600 people with this event and many incoming students showed interest in joining the team in future years.
On the behalf of the Software and Systems Development Pathway at Simi Valley High School, Team 6282 showcased our robot in action at the Pioneer Showcase Night. In attendance were current and prospective students of Simi High. The attendees also got to hear about the value of STEM education and how FIRST Tech Challenge can help build a foundation for STEM careers. The primary goal was to encourage future students to explore the world of robotics, whether it be in a pathways course or by joining our FTC team.
Our team visited Team 1138, a local RTC team at Chaminade Preparatory school. We attended a tour of their workshop, design process, and the different steps involved in organizing their team. After the tour, our team demonstrated our robot's capabilities as well as the FTC ideals. We answered any questions about our robotics design as well as our team dynamic.
Our team organized a Women in STEM Webinar on Zoom with female panelists from Aerojet Rocketdyne, InVia Robotics, ECA Medical, and a student from Harvey Mudd College. High school students were able to learn from the experiences of these professionals (what it is like to be a woman in typically male-dominated fields), and gained valuable advice for future college and professional careers in STEM fields.
To increase accessibility for a student with physical disabilities, our team was able to create and program an oversized key that allows the student to more easily access the caps lock key than a traditional keyboard would. This is particularly important for people who can only type with their dominant hand. We have documented our process to share with the community, posting our design, programming, and images of the final product online. We hope to motivate other teams to help students living with physical challenges.
Team 6282 organized and attended a tour and design review at inVia Robotics, a software and robotics company in Westlake Village, CA. We were able to learn about inVia's robots, including their manufacturing process and software. Additionally, we showcased our robot to industry professionals, answering any questions they had about our robot. We learned more about mechanical design and software principles from the professionals, as well as what it is like to work at a company.
Our team participated in a STEM Expo at the Wings over Camarillo Airshow, showcasing our robot and demonstrating its various capabilities. The team was able to describe the robot's mechanisms and the design process to the Ventura County community and anyone interested in mechanical engineering, informing them about the mission and core values of FIRST. Over the course of the day, we were able to reach over 500 people.
Team 6282 largely relies on the financial contributions of sponsors in STEM-related fields to cover our registration and competition fees, parts, materials, and tools. Team 6282 would not be where it is today without the financial support it receives from these awesome sponsors: