Team Duct Tape members had a great time hosting a table during Inventors Weekend at the Renaissance Festival. As with last year, we drew a good crowd, had fun informating about FIRST robotics, and enjoyed the food and entertainment. The Bay Area Renaissance Festival remains one of the most successful and surprising far reaching of our outreach efforts, bringing FIRST to a large number of people who have never heard of it.
Mr. Tim Liss, Marketing director for the Festival, was very accommodating and supportive, both of Team Duct Tape and FIRST robotics, and gave us a great spot right by the front entrance, even indulging the trebuchet one of our team members brought along, which he’d built for a school project.
While we couldn’t bring along our competition robot (dust, electronics and gears just don’t mix, especially a week before the State Championship!), members did contribute their own collection of sumo robots that children (and a lot of adults!) could enjoy watching and driving.
One of the nicest moments was when one family came up to the table saying they remembered us from last year and came out especially to bring their little boy to see the robots, and to see about getting him involved in FIRST, now that he’s older.
I think it’s safe to say that the Bay Area Renaissance Festival remains one of our favorite, if somewhat anachronistic, FIRST outreach opportunities. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
We also generated a lot of enthusiasm (and some donations) for our duct tape creations that ranged from helmets and bracers, to roses and bracelets. (Special thanks to Ashley for gamely spending the afternoon crafting duct tape roses!)