Team 4450 at FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature
Team 4450 participated in FIRST Day in the Washington State Legislature with several other teams from around the State on January 18, 2016. The Team brought a robot (Ibex) and a tri-board of information about the team. The students explained the FIRST program and their activities to legislative staff members and legislators who came by the teams in the hallways of the State Capitol Building Then the students met with the two Representatives of District 22, Chris Reykdal and Sam Hunt, and their staffs to explain what we do with robotics and in the community.
The messages we focused on were: (i) FIRST = STEM, (ii) robotics is a sport where anyone can go Pro, and (iii) we would like to see robotics taught in all of Washington State Schools. We asked if they would like a list of the schools in their District where there is currently a robotics program. They said yes and we provided that list to them as a follow-up later.
Team 4450 Mentors meet Representative Reykdal to Support Statewide STEM Robotics
On February 1, 2016, Peter Cook and Randy Steele met with Representative Chris Reykdal of District 22 as a follow-up to the Team 4450 meeting with him on MLK day (FIRST day at the legislature). The point of this meeting was to support an initiative by Washington First Robotics and the Olympia School District to train teachers state-wide in STEM Robotics 101 as an intro to computer science (among other things).
Rep. Reykdal was highly enthusiastic and agreed to write a letter of support for this proposal to Office of the Superintendent of Instruction which has issued a request for proposals on this topic. (see attached letter). This is a major step toward expanding STEM Robotics teaching in the State.