An epic summer for VERTEX Robotics! The outreach team, scattered across the US, met weekly over the last 3 months to begin work on a number of new projects for the coming season…
After learning from our last-minute efforts in VTXCADs 2020, we began planning for VTXCADs 2022 five months in advance. This summer, we recruited new organizers in all four organizer subgroups (GDC, logistics, marketing, outreach). The six members we welcomed hail from FTC teams across the US and are composed of a mix of previous organizers, previous VTXCADs participants, and new CADathon organizers.
VTXCADs 2022 will focus only on FTC and Novice categories, a change from last time when we spread our time and energy across three demanding categories (including FRC, less familiar to VTXCADs organizers). With the addition of organizers specialized in leading CAD workshops, we hope to involve and support a record number of participants with limited or no previous CAD experience.
Next, in an effort to connect with mentors and learn from professionals across the engineering and STEM community, we’ve also started our very own podcast, Sum of Our Parts. As described on our recently launched Spotify page, “we’ll share conversations with experts in the field to learn about their paths to engineering and their work today. Teamwork, questions, discussions with experts, failures and all.”
We’ll share conversations with experts in the field to learn about their paths to engineering and their work today. Teamwork, questions, discussions with experts, failures and all.
- Sum of Our Parts Podcast (on Spotify!)
As July came to an end, we collaborated with technical members across VERTEX to spin together a week-long Virtual Robotics Bootcamp combining CAD and Java curricula. We determined the format, set the date, and expanded our marketing reach to over 20 groups with more than 100,000 community members. Charging a small fee per student, we raised $1250 for community outreach initiatives. We’re donating the money where it’s most needed. Last season, we hosted coding lessons at a local library, and we discovered they lacked functioning computers. Kicking off with this summer’s Bootcamp, we’re launching a fundraiser to build computer labs and/or provide assistance at libraries in the Greater Boston Area.
After the Bootcamp, we discovered ways to improve our curriculum. This experience led to the creation of VERTEX’s very own CAD curriculum, which consists of five 1-hour lessons aimed at middle schoolers new to CAD.
The team also finally developed a team pin (featured below) promoting safety and the spirit of FIRST! We hope to share these pins at future events and competitions!
VERTEX’s outreach, mechanical, and programming groups have all begun planning for this Fall—there are many more exciting projects to come. The team can’t wait for what the new season brings after all our hard work this summer!
A gorgeous team pin, designed by Alinne Romero-Torres!