North County robotics team looks to expand community outreach
Team Optix, a robotics team from North County, wants to continue bolstering school curriculums, working with charitable organizations and making other efforts to expand its community outreach.
“Over the summer, and during the school year as well, we’ve been having an emphasis on computer science and business curriculum, because we find that we lack a lot of those types of classes in middle school and in high school,” said Nicole Pi, vice president of strategy for Team Optix and a Del Norte 10th grader. “So we put together our own set of original business curriculum teaching basic economics and also just basic finance and investment strategies, and also some basic Java and python curriculum.”
The group has been teaching that curriculum through weekly Zoom classes that are held every few months for about 60 to 70 local students who sign up.
The team was formed to compete in robotics competitions, and to promote science, technology, engineering and math among their fellow students. The team has four departments, each with one vice president: a build department that handles the building of robots; a tech department that is responsible for programming of robots; a business department that looks for sponsors; and a strategy department that is focused on community service and outreach.
Team Optix has also partnered with an organization called Elevate the Future to provide classes in business, programming, web design and cybersecurity classes to more than 500 students in five countries.
“Usually for outreach we directly go to each middle school and hold presentations and seminars for the students there,” Nicole said. “But now with the pandemic, we’ve had to move to additional space where we teach our students as well.”
Over the last two months, Team Optix has established a partnership to help distribute supplies and other types of items to orphanages in Mexico. The team also recently held a supply drive to contribute to this initiative.
The COVID-19 pandemic has limited some of the community outreach and volunteer work that Team Optix members would normally take part in, but they hope to continue growing their footprint when the world returns to normal. Their work with orphanages will be one of the main points of focus.
“Hopefully in the next two to three years after this pandemic ends, we can really go forward with this initiative and send supplies and letters and educational opportunities and educational methods to orphanages around the globe,” Nicole said.
For more information, visit team3749.org.
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