We find unique opportunities to integrate STEAM into our community outreach. As a Giving Partner with Bombas Socks, we’ve created a big impact over the last 2 years with 4,000 pairs of socks donated to a local homeless shelter, Dimitri House, and underserved youth through Happy Birthday Cha Cha Cha. We promoted STEAM and FIRST@ by making 1074 STEAM Kits for youth with info on FIRST to go with the youth socks we donated. At Dmitri house, we have made lunch, stocked their panty and dropped off over 1200 toiletry items from our community collection drive.  

2 students hold packages of Boombas Socks donations at Dimitri House
Student in front of a donation collection bin at Tops Market
Photo of 2 students in front of car trunk full of Bombas Socks and personal care items for Dimitri House
Photo of 2 students carrying a box of donations to Dimitri House
2 team members with bags of Bombas socks and other donations at Dimitri House
2 team members standing in front of 2 cars with trunks full of items for Happy Birthday Cha Cha Cha
2 students with boxes at Happy Birthday Cha Cha Cha storage room
Team captain talking to women at Happy Birthday Cha Cha Cha
8 large boxes and 2 bags filled with STEM Parachute kits made by the team
Photo of student looking up at homemade craft parachute
Students preparing plates of food in Dimitri House kitchen
Students and a mentor placing donated boxes of items on a shelf at Dmitri House
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Our philosophy of supporting others didn’t change with COVID-19. We saw an immediate need in our community and knew we could fill it. Team members took our 3D printers home and printed 255 face shields that went to 3 hospitals, 2 nursing homes and anyone else who needed one. We modified our annual Trivia Night team fundraiser into a community Kahoot! Game to support front-line workers instead. We provided hundreds of meals purchased from our financially struggling team sponsors for front-line workers. We delivered them to 3 hospitals, a nursing home and an urgent care center. We also organized a community drive and partnered with 3 local businesses to send 9 carloads of coffee, apples and snacks to 1000+ workers. We even started a Folding@Home team which is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics.

1511 Student dropping off coffee to a nurse at a hospital
Healthcare worker standing by a cart of apples and coffee donattions
Healthcare workers holding Thank You 1511 Signs for pizza delivery
3D Printer printing face shields
3D Printed Face Shields for Healthcare Workers
Table with coffee and apples to be donated to health care workers
Student picking up food in front of The Pour House to take to healthcare workers
Team member picking up food at Rosey's Cafe to deliver to healthcare workers
Team member delivery food and surgical mask straps to UR Medicine office
A table with 3D Printed Face Shields and Surgical Mask Straps Donations made by the team
Team member dropping off surgical mask straps at St. Anne's Home
Healthcare workers holding Thank You 1511 Signs for pizza delivery
Box of food being delivered by a team member to health care workers Rochester General Hospital
3 people standing by trunk full of boxes of coffee for Rochester General Hospital
Healthcare workers in a room wearing masks in with take our food donated by Team 1511
3D Printed Face Shields and Surgical Mask Straps
Team members hold coffee and apples for Rochester General Hospital
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We also knew we needed to find creative ways to keep the community engaged in FIRST, so we designed a YouTube video series called We Can Robot.  The series features short educational videos designed to educate and excite elementary/FLL age students about robotics and STEAM, complete with at home challenges. Topics include what is a robot, programming, 3D printing, simple machines, advocacy and more.  Click here to see the series on YouTube. 

 

By starting the Grateful Red Music Fest, we used our love of music to show our love of FIRST and our community. We hosted local bands and food trucks to join our robot demo at the town amphitheater and raised $620 for our selected charity, AutismUp. It gave a new audience a firsthand look at what we do and was covered on local TV news. The next one is in the works! Our fun, innovative events have built a community that embraces FIRST.

9 students in front of ampitheatre holding a round Grateful Red Musical Festival Sign

 

And, we continue to do what we can to support our community with our history of long standing events and activities. Our longest running service project is the FIRST MegaDrive at our offseason event, Ruckus, where teams compete to donate kids’ books, toys, food items and school supplies. We donate over 3,000 of these items to our community a year.  Whether it’s food drives, charity walks, welcoming Honor Flight, writing to veterans, community sales (Penfield Library, Ronald McDonald House Sale, PHS’s PTSA’s Fantastic Finds Sale) or a myriad of other activities, we continue to support our community in every way we can!

Photo collage of student delivering turkeys to various locations
Photo collage of team member delivering turkeys to various locations
Student unloading bags of donations at the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf
Student with mentors talking to Brownie Girl Scouts about robotics
Students pointing to colorful chart plotting donation drive progress
Team members holding lanterns at Light the Night Walk
Photo of back of a crowd holding up lite up lanterns at Light the Night Walk
2 students in front of boxes containing STEAM activity kits for Rochester Central School District
Team member greeting a veteran at Honor Flight
Student greeting a veteran at Honor Flight
Team members with boxes of books on carts helping cleanup at the Penfield Library Booksale
4 team members standing in front of car truck filled with donations for Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf
Team students and mentors holding a banner at Stroll for Strong Charity Walk
4 Team members unpacking boxes of food at Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf
2 students at night holding lighted colored lanterns at the Light the Night walk
Team members handing out water at the Rochester Marathon
Team members at a water station table at Rochester Marathon
Outdoor group photo of 3 FIRST teams at Robotics Relay for a Reason
4 team members at a table at JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes
Team members with boxes of books on carts helping cleanup at the Penfield Library Booksale
Crowd at night holding red and yellow lighted lanterns at Light the Night Walk
2 team members holding a box of apples and granola bars in front of Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf sign
Turkey Drive 2
Turkey Drive
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