Community service is an important aspect of Gone Fishin’ that we try to expand upon, year by year.
We began by reaching out to the local Southborough Library. There, we introduced our team to younger students who were interested in robotics and engineering, and the interactions with the students and their parents led to more collaboration opportunities with the local Boy Scouts and Daisies. From there, middle schools reached out to us, inviting Gone Fishin’ to science fairs and school events.
In the summer of 2016, another outreach project, named the Blue Suitcase Project, was begun. The project itself is a blue travel suitcase, in which we pack three sets of Lego Mindstorm kits. This suitcase is then taken with a Gone Fishin’ student to their hometown, where students learn robotic design and computer programming. At the end of the trip, one Mindstorms kit is donated to the school, and the Gone Fishin’ student continues to provide support to the school. This program is intended to make robotics and the ideals of FIRST accessible to students of all backgrounds. So far, we have successfully brought the project to Tanzania and New York City, with more to come!
From these events and interactions, a group of younger students and parents came to Gone Fishin’ regarding another FIRST competition: First Lego League.