Before COVID, we had done many outreach events in our community and surrounding areas.
For several years, our team has assisted with a paid summer camp sponsored by PIE3 where we mentored groups of kids through a FLL simulation and STEM activities.
Last season, we also held a free summer camp at the Eldersburg Library for kids who cannot afford the paid summer camps sponsored by PIE3. This free program had been running for three years and was completely run by the Gear Freaks team members with minimal adult assistance. Due to a waitlist for the camp, we were planning to collaborate with a new FTC team in PIE3, the Golden Jam, to hold two weeks of summer camp last year to better meet the demand. When restrictions are lifted, we will continue our plans to hold camps in the community.
Also, in past years, we volunteered at the Annual Roar of the Robots FLL competition and participated in elementary school STEM nights. We will resume these activities as soon as it is safe to do so.
We also plan to continue our work with the Carroll County Board of Education as PIE3 advocates to expand robotics throughout the entire school system as soon as we are able.
Despite these plans being on hold, during the summer we held two online camps sessions since COVID restricted us from hosting in person. The two camps were about teaching kids how to program using Scratch, an online coding website, and the other camp was to teach kids about physics and engineering. These camps were completely virtual, as some of the materials they would need were delivered to them for when camp started. Our objective was to involve more people with learning about STEM. Since COVID is hindering us, as soon as we are able to work more on outreach, we will.
Cameron also volunteered at the Fulton 5 competition. He helped monitor people’s last names as they entered the zoom meeting for watching the Fulton 5 competition. This kept people’s personal information safe from others in the zoom meeting.