Build FIRST India
Build FIRST India: Build FIRST India, an initiative by Team Elev8 is the perfect example of how lockdown can be productively spent. This week-long series was an incredibly holistic experience for our entire team. We were honoured to get the opportunity to host:
- 1. Ms. Luan Heimlich - Founder Director FIRST Australia
- 2. Team Elev8 Alumni - Aarushi Majumder, FRC Dean’s list award winner & Adhyyan Sekhsaria, Silver medal IOI
- 3. Mr. Alex Francis Burchard - Program Delivery Partner, FRC Turkey
- 4. Mr. Karthik Kanagabapathy - Lead mentor, Simbiotics
- 5. Mr. Allan Baytun - Lead Mentor, Raid Zero
- 6. Dr. Yoji Shimizu - Master of Ceremonies, Mentor for Team 1816 The Green Machine
- 7. Ms. Sonali Thite - Automation Product Lead, Flipkart and Mr. N Balamurugan
- 8. Mr. R. Ramanan - Mission Director for the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
The lineup of 8 speakers was extraordinary on paper, but interacting with them in real-time was awe-inspiring to another degree. Hearing mentors and leaders who have achieved so much offer their valuable contributions to us was so helpful and certainly encouraged us to leap even further towards our outreach goals. With our viewer count averaging 85-100 people per session, we were able to reach out to many young and aspiring bright minds and thinkers and inspire them, showing them the wonders of STEM and of innovation.
Our Build FIRST India series was designed to spread awareness of FIRST, STEM and Robotics among students across various schools in India. Through the invaluable insights shared by FIRST Mentors, alumni and speakers from the corporate world and the government, the students got an exposure to the world of FIRST, STEM, and robotics.
Robotics Deconstructed: Through this program we were able to start 9 new FTC/FRC teams. We had 14 student mentors from Team Elev8 teaching the WPI Programming Course, the Java Fundamentals course and the Computer Aided Design (CAD) course. We were pleased to see the enthusiasm of the students and were motivated further by the large number of participants. With over 130 participants in the programming courses and over 90 participants in the CAD course we conducted 230+ sessions. Overall, we were able to reach out to 1000+ parents, mentors and students over 11 webinars!
- 1. WPI deconstructed: Students learned how to create advanced robot control functions using the WPI Software Library.
- 2. Java Fundamentals: We taught students Object Oriented programming in Java, and how to use their skills to make programs with real world applications. It was a very enriching experience, as we got to share our love for programming with aspiring young who were very interested in the subject, and we got to spread knowledge about how to program industrial grade robots and have fun doing it!
- 3. CAD Deconstructed: We taught the students how to go about using CAD software Fusion 360 to conceptualize, design, implement, and analyse the various parts and mechanisms of industrial grade robots. Starting from scratch, at the end of the course students were able to convert 2D sketches to 3D objects, create joints, apply appearances to models and change their materials, and use simulations to test out designs. Whether students were interested in engineering, biotechnology, automobile design or even computer graphics, CAD allowed them to channel their interests and creativity effectively.
She Empowers STEM
We at Team Elev8 strive to provide equal opportunities to everyone. With inclusiveness at the heart of our outreach model, we started our She Empowers STEM program. We conducted robotics workshops with 80+ girls from grades 5-9 in our school, where we taught them how to program some robots to carry out basic functions such as moving in a straight line, turning, moving along a curved path, etc. using Lego MINDSTORM software.
We started an all-girls FTC team with passionate and highly driven girls to give them the platform that they deserve to showcase their talent and curiosity and to give them the opportunity to try their hand at robotics construction and programming in a competitive setting. Lastly, we also conducted a webinar for under-privileged girls to create awareness about the limitless possibilities that exist for them in the field of STEM and to inspire them to pursue their interests in STEM
The coronavirus has impacted the entire world, but disproportionately so. The worldwide implementation of the lockdown severely affected the education of millions of children around the world, who didn’t have adequate access to technology to continue their studies through an online platform. We decided to train NGO mentors who did have access to technology how to use Fusion 360, a CAD software. We also interacted with students from the NGO Spark A Change, and taught them how they could apply the basic concepts learnt in Fusion 360 to design and model 3D objects - teaching them an essential skill and preparing them for the future.
While multiple students shared a laptop due to limited resources, the experience was a truly memorable one. Not only were they extremely excited to learn, their enthusiasm and quick grasp of the concepts helped re-instill the fact that everyone has the same potential, the opportunity and exposure gained is what makes a difference.
We at Team Elev8 are working towards helping these students prepare to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge, a global robotics competition, to increase their exposure and give them exciting opportunities.
Date with Elev8
Date with Elev8 is an ongoing series of webinars where we invited speakers from various backgrounds such as marketing and engineering to, firstly, build skills and more importantly, provide the students with exposure to various relevant fields and subsequently, inspiration. So far, we have hosted Ms. Surbhi Bhatia, CEO of the Mom Store, who spoke to us about social media marketing. And Padhma Vibhushan nuclear physicist Dr. Anil Kakodkar who outlined his experiences in STEM and ruminated about a future steeped in technology.