All posts by Sid Dev

Lego Outreach for Cornerstones Youth

The Cornerstones organization has provided educational services to homeless and underprivileged youth in the Northern Virginia area.

Team116 teamed up with LEGO outreach to bring STEM and team-building to these kids in our community. We helped kids build and design monsters, hotels, and introduced them to the concept of team building and working with a creative process. Our team had a lot of fun hanging out with the Cornerstones staff and we hope that we can partner with them again in the future.


Our team members were hands on with the kids to help them build several structures. We helped them with their preliminary designs and worked with their creative ideas.


In some cases, the kids would work in teams before integrating their structures. Working carefully, they would combine their ideas and builds, similar to robot subsystems, to finish a completed structure that could stand on it’s own.

We would like to wish everyone in the northern Virginia area happy holidays – we were very thankful to be able to spend some time with the underprivileged kids in our community.



Parent’s Night and Kickoff

As the preseason winds down, the team will be organizing our annual Parent’s Night and Kickoff meetings.

Parent’s Night will be the first of the final two events before our season It’s an essential part of our ongoing effort to bridge the communication and information gap that exists between members of our team and their guardians. Bring your parents so that they can learn about FIRST, your pre-season build competition, and other important aspects of our team. Parent’s Night will be next Thursday, Dec 8,from 7 – 9.

Our annual Kickoff event will be the conclusion of the pre-season, and will take place on January 7th. Every year, FIRST releases the game of the upcoming season in a special video that is live streamed to teams across the world.  We’ll be having donuts, coffee, and bagels with our team to celebrate the beginning of the new season. We hope to see you all at both events!


Air and Scare 2016

Team 116 was fortunate to attend the 2016 Air and Scare event at the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum this weekend.

The team presented and talked about the culture and meaning of FIRST to kids, parents and the curious people that found themselves in our stand.


We showed off and drove one of our competition robots around, had a station to talk about FIRST  while playing with Hexbugs, hosted our own arena for kids to play with many custom-built Square Bots, and brought them closer to competition-ready drive testing by giving them the chance to drive one of our smaller beta robots.


Our stand showcased some of the awards our team was fortunate enough to win throughout the years.


Here is a picture of Superman trying his hand with our beta robot.


We had a chance to talk to many interested kids and parents — many were excited to learn more. The team used the opportunity to collect email addresses of interested parents and teens who wanted to learn more. We collected nearly 50 emails and helped spread the word about the interest  and purpose of FIRST Robotics.

IROC and Air & Scare

As the pre-season is well underway, our team has begun to participate in outreach and off-season opportunities that will develop the team and prepare them for the challenges ahead. We’ll be attending both IROC and Air & Scare this year.

IROC:  (Ilite Robotics Off-Season Challenge) is an off-season recreation of the FIRST Stronghold game, hosted at Battlefield High School. Teams across our district will be attending and will take advantage of the opportunities of practicing build-season protocols and procedures at the event. It’s a great way to keep new team members interested and let them gain an understanding of what it is like to participate in the heat of competition. We last participated in this competition 3 years ago, where we placed as a finalist.

Air & Scare: Air and Scare is an event hosted at the National Air and Space museum of Udvar-Hazy, which our team has used as a platform in the last 10~ years to promote the meaning of FIRST to parents and children. Hundreds of kids and their parents stream into the museum to participate in the wide-ranging activities – our team uses our station to talk about FRC, FTC, and the purpose of FIRST.

Our entire team is really excited to be participating in both events this year – we hope to see you there!