Team 694 is always ready to help out teams in struggle, whether it is during the hectic build season or at the competitions themselves. Throughout the years, we have visited other teams and invited them to our lab to share knowledge and experiences about safety, organization, fundraising, as well as engineering and software engineering. Even during competitions, our team is ready to send members to help other teams with their robots, and cheer with them as they win awards or advance to the finals. Helping other teams also provides us a way to bond with them and form a long-lasting friendships, an incentive that has kept us in action.
Helping other teams is just as advantageous to our own team as it is helpful to others. Bonding with members of other teams is like welcoming others into our community and the friendships and loyalties formed are long-lasting.
It all began in the spring of 2001 when Team 694 gave a presentation about instituting a robotics curriculum to interested teachers. Since then, we have helped inspire several schools to get involved in this spectacular program. In addition, Team 694 has been there to lend a helping hand by mentoring teams, especially I.S. 89 across the street whom we have mentored each year since 2002.
Our involvement with FLL increased in December 2005 when the Manhattan Borough FLL Tournament was first held in our school. After last year’s successful event, the great amount of experience gained was used to make this year’s tournament even better. This year we also worked to upgrade our event to the standards of an official FIRST event. We also continued to send volunteers to help referee and queue teams at the NYC FLL tournament in Riverbank State Park as well as the Queens FLL Qualifier.
After our successful rookie year, Stuyvesant High School was inspired to start a robotics class. Today, this course is still available to Juniors and Seniors as it helps spread the message of FIRST as well as awareness and interest in the Robotics Team. The class was such a success that several schools considered the possibility of adding a similar course to their curriculums.
Team 694 has often performed demonstrations at alumni reunions at our school. This year, we showcased our past robots while several alumni enjoyed the thrill of driving our 2004 robot, Larry, around the school lobby. We even went beyond our original expectations by having several willing team members conduct tours of the building on short notice, including our robotics lab where we conveyed knowledge of the robotics program to interested listeners. We were later commended by the alumni for our knowledge and gracious manners.
In addition, Team 694 often performs other demonstrations at our school to emphasize the importance of the robotics program. This year, we showcased our 2005 robot, Yvette, on stage to the awe of hundreds of incoming freshmen and their parents. Later on, we let students drive a VEX robot around the hallways as we answered questions from prospective members about the team. Hopefully we will see many of the same faces again at our newbie meetings next fall.
Over the years, Team 694 has been featured in numerous demonstrations, shows and the media. One of our more notable appearances includes Wired Magazine’s 2006 NEXTFEST Demonstration, where our 2006 robot, Joshua, played mock matches of the game, “Aim High”, while thousands of spectators observed. StuyPulse has gone on to present at the World Financial Center in 2004, among other places. In 2008, we were invited to showcase FIRST Robotics at the first annual World Science Fair held in Washington Square Park. Every year, we regularly present on-stage at the TriBeCa film festival and also on the street where we have our fundraising booksale. Recently, we have also appeared at Sony Wonder Fair, the NASA events, Maker Faire, and various local events. In the midst of busy demonstrations, we also try to increase our government’s interest in the robotics programs and FIRST through presentations and by inviting local politicians to the exciting competitions.