These are a few examples of our recent outreach initiatives.
Build Brave Girls
In her 2016 Ted Talk titled "Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection," Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, described how boys were raised to be brave; girls were raised to be perfect. CSP's outreach initiative - Build Brave Girls - is determined to change this mindset and inspire girls to be brave and take risks. By connecting with girls through Instagram, Build Brave Girls provides an extensive, varied network of resources that give girls the opportunity to explore STEM-based careers. It inspires and encourages girls to join robotics by providing them with outstanding role models of girls who have already found their place in PCH. Ultimately, Build Brave Girls believes that through support and recognition, the unrealistic standard of perfection can be replaced by a supportive standard of curiosity that allows girls to explore their interests and challenge their minds.
FIRST in the Valley
The Chattahoochee Valley area provides few opportunities for the youth of Columbus to experience a STEM education. By mentoring and starting teams in our area, we provide the leaders of the future with a way to develop their interest in STEM. We've started three FTC teams and mentor a total of 9 teams across the district, both FLL and FTC.
See it, Be it
In the United States, we do not have a diverse scope of people who pursue careers in STEM. Without representation, students may feel discouraged to engage in STEM-related activities. See it Be it strives to inspire students from underrepresented minorities to grow in STEM fields. Through social media and in-person events, we intend to spread a love of STEM and FIRST throughout our community.
CSP is in the process of creating a series of webinars to train FIRST teams on skills that are integral not only to building a good robot, but also skills that help spread FIRST and STEM through their respective communities. So far, these videos have gained traction, each one generating 50+ views from various people across the FIRST community.
Robotics and Mental Health
Robotics, although fun, is also stressful to each and every team member. As a result, our team has decided to work to ensure that our team members have the best mental health possible. We have started implementing hour limits for our practices, educating team members about different mental disorders and their risks, and inviting counselors to facilitate workshops focused on stress management. Our goal is to establish a more inclusive and safe workplace for our team members.
Summer Learning Experience
Through a partnership with Columbus High School, the Columbus Space Program had the opportunity to provide a comprehensive 2-week summer camp to high school students. It was offered twice over the summer.This summer camp taught coding skills, as well as design and mechanical skills, exposing high school students to the world of engineering. Through this program, 50% of the members became interested in 4188 and started off as FTC members with the basic knowledge required to succeed.