Outreach and Impact
Red Storm strongly believes in giving back to the community, so we help out wherever we can. Some of the outreach activities we have participated in include attending local elementary and middle school Science Nights and school carnivals to show kids what it takes to build an FTC or FRC robot; taking our robot to the streets at the Grand Rapids Metro Cruise; and taking part in GE Community Day since 2013 where we painted murals, landscaped, repaired picnic tables, built and installed benches, and pulled weeds for the Lincoln School for the Disabled. To help the environment, we started volunteering in 2019 at Comprenew to disassemble electronic equipment. The parts are then recycled or properly disposed. Over the summers, we’ve done demos at the Kentwood library, local church’s vacation bible schools, Davenport computer camp, Grand Rapids Mini-maker faire and other locations. We made a float for the Kentwood Independence Day parade that won the award for the best float. In 2018 we got our biggest task which was to make a bulletproof robot for the police to practice shooting moving targets on that we collaborated on with the amazing Davenport University.
Over the years, we have made a significant impact on the members of both our community and our team. We have introduced the FIRST program to our area via demonstrations, which are open to the public. We find that it’s a great way to have fun as a team and get school-age students interested in the STEM fields. Because of the impact of the FIRST robotics program, several members of our team, now alumni, have decided to pursue an engineering major. Those who graduated from our team and went on to college have been successful in their endeavors. Many even come back to mentor current team members. Because of our activities, East Kentwood High School now offers classes in engineering, CAD, and AP Computer Science. We also got a mechatronics class started up in 2018 and due to popular demand, we recently added an additional mechatronics class.