XBOT ROBOTICS More than STEM Education

Organization Name
Mission Statement

To provide programs for students in elementary, middle and high schools focused on robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and aims to foster positive experiences with technology.

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: XBOT ROBOTICS, while providing hands on STEM and robotics opportunities to students, is to also provide student with tools to become more well-rounded individuals. Part of learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics is also learning about other skills professionals have like analyzing data, presenting/communicating data and sharing results with a larger audience. Giving our students the ability to communicate well with each other, their mentors, other volunteers and the surrounding community not only allows the organization to sustain itself and grow, but inspire future leaders in STEM fields. Before using Microsoft tools on a regular basis, we were not able to reach out as well as we are now.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
Other: Visio

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Our engineering mentors teach students math functions using Excel, specifically to determine robot kicking trajectory. We use SkyDrive to share documents across students and mentors when planning robot design and other communication tools. Our students use OneNote to edit html for our website (www.xbotrobotics.org and www.teamxbot.org). Students and mentors use Publisher to create marketing and fundraising materials and team postcards to share our robot specifications with other FIRST robotics teams. Over the past three years, our team has grown from 15 to 35 students and mentors and with that increase came the need to be more organized and find better communication tools. SkyDrive, OneNote and Publisher has allowed us to communicate better intra-team and with our sponsors and community.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: The first week of our recently piloted summer workshops, students were challenged to researching a robot in industry (military, entertainment or manufacturing) and prepare a three-minute Microsoft PowerPoint presentation in the third week of the program. Students learned to utilize and professionally present with PowerPoint on a variety of different robots, including an android receptionist, ASIMO, CHARLI-L and the Mars Pathfinder. This is the first year we have been able to have a student-sustained website, and with their basic knowledge of html, they use OneNote to update the website. We impress parents and potential recruits to XBOT ROBOTICS, but also teachers at Franklin High School and potential sponsors. We’ve recruited five solid team members from the summer workshops and website.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: XBOT ROBOTICS piloted a 2010 summer workshop in robotics, funded in part by the Workforce Development Council of King County. Throughout the five-week workshop, students learned different types of robots that exist in industry, military and for entertainment purposes; kept an engineering notebook; learned how to solder; discovered the uncertainty of measurement; prepared tabular representation in Microsoft Excel and interpreted results; and built a robot to compete in a challenge. Mike Sinclair, Senior Researcher at Microsoft taught students how to use Microsoft VISIO to draw circles, squares, triangle, diamonds, and other shapes. The students were able to create a puzzle design which was cut on a laser cutter and handed back when they took a field trip to Microsoft in Redmond.

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