This year we’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to introduce robotics and the world of STEM to a group of orphaned kids in Guatemala, providing not only instructions for FLL robotics challenges but life lessons that the kids can use to better their lives as they get older. Through a series of odd coincidences, Stryke learned about an unused FLL field and parts that had recently been basically dumped on an orphanage or “children’s home” in Solola, Guatemala known as Eagle’s Nest. Upon hearing this, 6210 Stryke graciously offered to teach some of the kids the basics of FLL robotics through facetime/skype and constant email contact with adults at the facility. Nothing even remotely STEM-related had ever been shown to anyone in the local community, let alone Eagles Nest. The kids loved it so much that Stryke was asked to help create a robotics class at their local school and develop a series of lesson plans for the 2016 school year.
In the summer of 2016, former team member Rachel Williams visited Eagle’s Nest to run a week-long summer camp. There, she taught them basic robotics skills such as engineering and software. At the end of the week, the robots they made could complete an obstacle course! We hope that this experience will stay with these children for the rest of their lives and inspire them to pursue STEM in the future.
“For Guatemalan kids, we must promote a different sort of motivation, along the lines of personal growth, personal pride in accomplishment, community service, and skills attainment. The skills of problem solving and teamwork can be beneficial in practically any line of work, and can help prepare for success in trade school-based studies, such as pre-engineering (construction), computers, and education (teaching).”
– Pedro Patlan, Founder of Eagle’s Nest, Guatemala
Meeting With Professionals
In 2017, we were given the awesome opportunity to visit the Oculus VR Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. There, we got to meet one-on-one with legendary video game programmer John Carmack – creator of games such as Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D and current CTO of Oculus – and show off our robot!
The employees at Oculus were excited that we were there. They let us test out VR and different VR devices and talked to us about the future of virtual reality beyond video games. They even gave us an Oculus VR headset to show off a 3D model of our robot at Regionals!
Visiting Oculus was a once in a lifetime experience and we are so grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity.
Made by FTC Team 6210 ViperBots Stryke. ©