Beyond Borders Program
Our team is a driving force that is bringing STEM and robotics education to an international level through our Beyond Borders program. In order to share the FIRST experience with international communities, we are providing schools, teachers, women, and other FRC teams the resources to represent as hubs for STEM education. By bringing robotics opportunities and exposing FIRST on a global scale, we are making FIRST loud and creating avenues for individuals to seek and build their passions.
A student of ours moved to Atlanta, U.S.A. where the only available FIRST Robotics program in her school was was FIRST Tech Challenge. Bringing her passion for FIRST to Atlanta, left her with the desire to share something more with her peers. This gave us the opportunity to support her in creating a FIRST Robotics Competition team for the 2018 season. By holding conference calls with school board representatives, school trustees, admin, and students, we were able to kick-start an FRC team and provide them with the guidance necessary to ease into the new program. Throughout the season we provided long-distance mentorship and support.
Students on our team have hosted international webinars to help develop a robotics curriculum with our lead teacher for schools in China to expose them to the basics of STEM. This curriculum was also presented to a group of 300 Chinese students and resulted in running a two week summer ESL class based on robotics. The presentations by our students and FischerTechnik models were used to assist ESL programs in China.
JAMAICA & GUYANA
In effort to take STEM and robotics to an international level, we have connected with Cuso International, a non-profit who works in different parts of the world to enhance and share educational programs, mentorship, and put a lot of work towards humanitarian efforts. They have spoken with their offices in the Carribbean to fulfill their needs in the schools in Jamaica and Guyana to implement robotics-based programs based off of our developed robotics curriculum and FIRST robotics.
Team 1241 billeted Team 4817 from Singapore, who attended GTR West in 2013, our students also helped them ship their robot to our facility and assisted them with their robot during Competition. Each member from 4817 was paired with a 1241 student. We fully immersed them into our culture when they arrived and provided them with any tools necessary to be prepared for competition and comfortable in a new environment. By taking them to see great Canadian landmarks like the C.N. Tower and Niagara Falls, our main goal was for them to leave Canada not only having a great time at competition but becoming part of our family. This inspired our efforts to constantly aim to create a diverse and inclusive environment for all. Our school’s principal also hosted a lunch for them at Applebee’s before their departure.
Team 1241 is working a 2-4 year plan with a school in the “High Density” areas of Zimbabwe. We are reaching out to Glen View 1 High School students by encouraging them to stay in school and provide them with the necessary tools to get exposed to STEM through FIRST Robotics. We have shipped FLL Jr and FLL kits to the student team in Zimbabwe and paired their students with ours. Through virtual workshops and sessions, we are training the students of Glen View high to understand stem concepts through Lego. The long term goal is to for us to be able to provide the resources, trainings and tools to them that can in turn work with other schools in their community that have no access to electricity and internet.