Since 2001, the Midnight Mechanics have led the San Diego FIRST community in communicating the message of FIRST, its programs, and gracious professionalism. We remember back in 2002 when we made our first countywide presentation in partnership with San Diego City Community College. No one attended. It was totally devastating. But, since, we’ve matured into more effective communicators and have drawn crowds up of to 1500+ people at one sitting! That goes to show how far we’ve come in 8 years. And, in fact, we’re inspiring other FIRST teams to get on the bandwagon as well by not only opening opportunities for them to speak on behalf of FIRST, but by training students to be both engineers and leaders in the engineering community.
Below is a resume of presentations that the Midnight Mechanics have made over the past season. California School Board Association
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
In partnership with Team Spyder, Team 812 made multiple presentations to the California School Board Association members. Because of our involvement in FLL, we spoke to over 25 school board members explaining to them the benefits of FIRST and FLL to their students and encouraging them to implement the program at their schools. Our presentation included a demonstration with FLL Lego robots built by our middle school students and a full FLL playing field complete with game pieces from the 2007-2008 Power Puzzle Challenge.
Riding the Wave of Change
Youth Service America National Conference
Omni Hotel, San Diego, CA
Establishing a long term relationship with Volunteer San Diego, we partnered with them to speak at the 3 day National Youth Service America Conference. Over 200 people and about 140 youth service organizations nation wide were in attendance. We ran a workshop about student initiated outreach during which we spoke about our outreach efforts with FIRST. We also spoke to and addressed the whole conference with a presentation about our team’s mission to empower youth coming from low income backgrounds similar to ours. At the conference, we connected with organizations from The Universities of Texas, State Farm, and Play Pumps and are now working with them to further enhance our outreach efforts with FIRST nation wide.
Service Learning 101
San Diego County Board of Education
Marina Village, San Diego, CA
We presented to over 200 educators across San Diego County at the Service Learning 101 workshop in partnership with Volunteer San Diego. At the workshop, we explained the opportunities we have to plan and create our own projects and outreach through FIRST to teachers who are interested in bringing programs like FIRST that promote innovation and service learning, to their own schools to further enhance their curriculum.
San Diego Robotics Expo
San Diego Science Alliance
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego, CA
High Tech Fair
AT&T and San Diego Science Alliance
San Diego County Fair, San Diego, CA
American Association for Cancer Research National Conference
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
San Diego Board of Education
San Diego Office of Education, San Diego, CA
Noble Laureates Dinner
Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Because of the opportunities our members have received as a result of their participation in FIRST, Team 812 got the opportunity to speak to over 20 California Nobel Laureates about our experiences in FIRST and how these have inspired us to take advantage of opportunities in math and science, like COSMOS (California State Summer School of Math and Science). As representatives of both COSMOS and FIRST, we spoke at the California Nobel Laureate dinner at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles sponsored by the International Swedish Confederation. We spoke with business people, top university professors from universities like the University of California Schools, University of Southern California and Presidents of Engineering Colleges, like Harvey Mudd. They were impressed by our professionalism and enthusiasm about learning engineering skills with FIRST and taking robotics courses at COSMOS and have expressed support for the program.
American Minority Health Profession Schools Biomedical Symposium
Hilton Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Qualcomm, San Diego, CA
Team 812 was invited as the only students to attend the Qualcomm Gadget Fest to speak to local innovators and engineering/communication companies about our work through FIRST. Through the experience, our students accessed a plethora of business cards, free food, and made valuable connections, such as those with CommNexus, that inspired us to begin new programs within our team. The best part was when we were introduced to the entire audience at the Gadget Fest as the “new innovators of tomorrow.”
CONNECT Most Innovative New Project Luncheon
Hilton Hotel, San Diego, CA
Because of our innovation in engineering robots and our extraordinary service to the community, the Preuss School UCSD and Team 812 were selected to receive the Most Innovative New Project by CONNECT. Team 812 attended the Luncheon on behalf of our school and were lauded by community officials and business leaders for the impact we’ve made throughout the county in the past eight years.
Sally Ride Festival
UCSD, San Diego, CA
Since 2005, Team 812 ran a FIRST booth and engineering workshop at the UCSD Sally Ride Festival. This past year, we spoke to over 1000+ young girls about the importance of math, science, and engineering and how, no matter how difficult, they should continue to persevere in order to achieve their dreams.
Service Learning Assembly
Preuss School UCSD, San Diego, CA
Each year, Team 812 runs a booth at the Preuss School Service Learning Assembly, speaking to freshmen students entering high school about the importance of service and community outreach. We speak enthusiastically about the service that we do on the team and how that has made a direct impact on the community.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Beyond our wildest dreams, Team 812 was selected to speak at the student panel hosted at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2008. We spoke alongside six Nobel Laureates on the importance of engaging students from low income backgrounds and underrepresented minority backgrounds in math, science, and engineering. It was the largest crowd we ever presented to – 1500+ students, parents, and teachers from over 51+ countries!
BAE System Headquarters, San Diego, CA
Ever since we met them at the AT&T High Tech Fair, Team 812 has partnered with BAE Systems to run annual presentations with their engineers to recruit mentors for the Team San Diego community. We work hands-on with Rosemary Wilson, the representative from BAE Systems, to help assist in the allocation of grants to individual teams and to speak on the student panel at these presentations.
Qualcomm Headquarters, San Diego, CA
Each year, Team 812 reaches out to Qualcomm, our major sponsor, in an effort to recruit mentors for the Team San Diego community. We work with their corporate donations manager to help assist in the allocation of grants to individual teams and have been keynote speakers at presentations to engineers, urging them to get involved in FIRST.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade
Downtown, San Diego, CA
For the past three years, Team 812 has been a constant fixture of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Downtown, San Diego. The community knows us as, “The kids with the monsterous robot!” This year, we were personally invited by Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to walk alongside the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of UCSD at the Parade. It was such a humbling experience for our team members as we realize just how important it was for our community to see kids like us – kids who refused to settle for a lesser dream, kids who struggle to beat the odds. Because of our presence, Team 812 was exposed to local media and were given awarded UCSD Education Award – Third Place!