Cubie draws a Crowd

Cubie draws a Crowd

Team Duct Tape enjoyed a great afternoon with a boisterous and enthusiatic crowd of elementary aged homeschoolers during a robotics demo and info session with the THINK co-op learning group on Monday.  Many of the students were already familiar with FIRST LEGO League, thanks to the THINK TechnoForce team that formed up after our summer camp last year.   But many others had never seen a robot like Cubie.

It occurred to us while Cubie spun about chucking wiffle balls to hoards of happily

FLL TechnoForce member give FTC a shot

FLL TechnoForce members give FTC a shot

 squealing children that FTC provides an exciting and engaging way to introduce young children to FIRST.   Big enough for a group of children to see, but small enough to be accessible and unitimidating  to even the youngest children, who were able to try their small hands at driving and shooting, FIRST Tech Challenge makes a great FIRST ambassador level, and provides a tantalizing glimpse of what’s possible beyond LEGO League.

 Children enjoyed seeing how the NXT was used both in smaller FLL robots and then in the larger FTC robot, and how capabilities changed along with robot size and sophistication.  Several families expressed interest in learning more about FIRST for their children, and as a result, TDT  hopes to be organizing a week long camp in June, with the help of FLL TechnoForce members who were campers last summer.

The summer’s shaping up to be busy but productive, and hopefully the north Tampa area will be seeing some new FLL teams and youth engineering clubs starting up in the fall.

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