Our connections with the FLL MN community led us to an amazing and fulfilling opportunity to introduce FIRST robotics to a group of second-grade students at Stevenson Elementary School. These second-grade students are participating in a coding class, and the teacher of this class invited us to show the students how robotics is an application of coding.
We started our visit with a presentation explaining who we are and what FTC is. We then explained the communication system between the robot, controllers, and phones. We wrapped up the presentation with a description of the materials that we can build our robot with, including the Tetrix parts, 3D printing, and CAD and manufacturing. We brought our pre-powder-coated custom robot to show them what custom manufacturing looks like. They were surprised to see that their practice with if/then statements and loops were the same basic concepts that we used in our programming.
After our presentation, we were surprised by the number of questions we got from the students. Many students asked about how the robot gets built, and other students who were more interested in programming asked about why we have two phones, how the phones work, and questions of the like. At the end of the event, the teacher even offered us to present at a school assembly towards the end of the season.