The Eastbots is committed to creating a culture where young people have opportunities to become leaders, engineers, and thinkers of the future. To this end, we are proudly student-led. We abolish apprehension about STEM by empowering students in a non-classroom setting.
Our recruitment efforts are deliberate. We change the perception of who a STEM kid is by recruiting from diverse classrooms. We emphasize community partnerships. We extend our passion for STEM by forming long-term, meaningful relationships with community stakeholders. We generate excitement year-round. We re-engage members periodically with build tasks, then dive into more focused learning.
Spreading the message of FIRST
With our team, we believe we will be able to reach our entire local community of the Chapel Hill - Carrboro area by spreading the message of FIRST Robotics to people of all ages, genders, nationalities, age, and more. With our junctions at the local K-12 schools, children are provided the opportunity to see robots and feats of engineering in action, completing hands-on workshops of our own creation, helping future generations acknowledge the power of STEM education. Many of the children we present to express an interest in being part of a robotics team, more specifically our own team, when they reach high school.
By introducing STEM into the career force early on, in developmental stages, more and more people of the workforce will be able to wield higher technical and scientific skills necessary to thrive and succeed in competitive environments. Our team does just that - we have an ongoing partnership with the Hargraves Community Center, a local children’s learning and play center, where we hold demonstrations of engineering and teach kids through a fun environment.
Helping the local community directly aids Orange County, who monitors education capabilities and learning progresses at all ages. Implementing tactics at a young age for a stronger, more diverse workforce helps everyone in their advancements of future technological capabilities.
Mentoring other teams and expanding our local reach
Our team’s primary and most physically obvious geographical situation is that we are close to three critically acclaimed and nationally renowned universities: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. Through this, we have been eligible for local university grants for the funding of STEM related activities and grants. In addition to eligibility, our geographical standpoint also means that we are able to have mentors from the universities. Mentors, students, and teachers are able to convene from the university campuses to our school to educate and support our technical workshops.
Including mentors from universities, as the triangle area of North Carolina is home for many businesses and future corporate sponsors. We are extremely lucky to be so conveniently located with multiple opportunities and we are happy to be able to help out other North Carolina teams that are not provided with such opportunistic locations. This is demonstrated in our mentoring of 2019 rookie team, team 7890, SeQuEnCe. Through the TEAMS grant, we partnered with FRC team 7890, SeQuEnCe, to help them develop a strong, resilient STEM education program in their community in Raleigh. EastBots also physically aided them in getting supplies, providing members’ own transportation to the other team’s site. Educationally, Eastbots concentrated on teaching programming skills, and our partnership has already shown measurable results: during their first competition season, SeQuEnCe won the Rookie Inspiration Award at the Asheville event, the Innovation in Control Award at the UNC Pembroke event, and earned their first event win at the UNC Pembroke event.
Our Subteam Breakdown
The Electrical Team designs the electrical circuits powering up the robot, learning how to wire, crimp, and create entire electrical boards. Experienced members of the team, alongside a long-time mentor from Nvidia, teach the newer batch of students their expertise in order for an effective peer-to-peer experience.
The Design Team is composed of several students who design the robot and the competition pit using an online 3-D modeling server. Our primary CAD is Inventor (2023), as our school, East Chapel Hill High School, offers engineering courses that use this program in school computers. Using what is taught from school and from peers, students are able to effectively design all core mechanisms of the robot and present the blueprints to the other subgroups of the team that are involved in the physical process of building.
The Mechanical Team functions in several other subunits within the subgroup, but they overall come together to machine and assemble a robot. Our team has access to a woodshop within the school, where we learn to be safety-trained by a certified technician in order to design and put to life our own innovative structures.
The Business Team manages the team’s financial accounts and its fiscal expenditures, all while keeping tabs on the treasury and income and outcome checks. They also manage our image and online presence to make sure that we uphold our values as well as the values of FIRST. The Business Team works very closely with the Outreach Team, mentioned below, in order to raise the most amount of money for every public exposure, volunteer service, or community based work. Grant writing, cold calling, newsletters, and emailing corporate sponsors are all part of this group’s daily team activities.
The Outreach Team manages the team’s public exposure and how people of the team affect the community. They have partnered with several different local businesses, nonprofits, and schools within the Chapel Hill - Carrboro community, notably the Hargraves Center, Rashkis Elementary School, and Carrboro High School. Team members regularly host outreach events to inspire elementary and middle school aged kids to participate and get excited about STEM.