During the fall of the 2014-2015 school year the Fitch Robotics team made several visits to local middle and elementary schools to teach kids about STEM and robotics. The marketing team was the primary organizer for these events, contacting school administrators to set up meetings and putting up a powerpoint presentation to inform the students about FIRST Robotics, STEM, and their importance in the world. At each event the drive team came to demonstrate the capabilities of our robot. Students were allowed to operate and interact with the robot. It was a really fun and exciting series of events for all those involved. The team got a very positive reception from the students and staff at each school. This was truly an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of students in the community an the team was grateful for that. "The STEM program was a great way to get local students inspired about robots." said event organizer Finian O'Connor.
During the fall of 2015 several student members of the Aluminum Falcons helped mentor the FLL at local Cutler Middle School. During the season, these mentors helped the students on team 1978 in the various aspects of the FLL challenge. The first component asked students to develop the solution to the question "how can we improve the way that someone learns?" To aid learning in the classroom the student chose to use minecraft and demonstrated not only how they could utilize the game to make math, history, and other subjects interesting but also developed a tutorial for the game itself. The mentors from the Aluminum Falcons also helped the middle schoolers build and test their LEGO Mindstorm Robot to meet as many of the game challenges as they could. Mentors helped students learn to code instructions for the robot and design mechanisms that could complete certain challenges. At the Bash at the Beach Competition in Old Lyme the students performed well both demonstrating their solution to the FLL World Class Question and competing with the robot. The team earned one of the six "Golden Tickets" that allowed them to compete in the State Tournament in shelton. this was the first time the team had qualified for States. At the State competition the team performed well but did not advance further. Nevertheless they had a fantastic time and the mentors from our team really enjoyed working with them.
The Aluminum Falcons hoster the inaugural Groton District Event on March 8 and 9. To host this event the team had to put in countless hours of logistical planning for pit structure, hallway movement, and the competition field. Head Coach Mr. Chidley had to put in a lot of time making sure that the event would meet safety regulations. The marketing team worked to get guest speakers such as U.S. Representative Joe Courtney. The entire team also helped preparing concessions for the two day event. The night before the competition the Aluminum Falcons along with FIRST Volunteers set up the competition field and pit areas. At the competition the team fared well, placing seventh and winning the Creativity Award. At the end of the competition the Falcons stayed late to break down the set up as there was school the next day. It took a lot of work to pull it off, but it was a huge achievement for everyone involved. The team had a great time and looks forward to having the opportunity to host more events in the future.