As summer break approaches, many kids tend to start “coasting”: teachers lighten loads as everyone gets ready for summer break. Elementary school teachers at the PHM school system took notice and wanted to give kids an opportunity to have fun while providing a learning experience as a good takeaway before summer break. This began the tradition of the end of the year field day in PHM elementary schools.
The field day itself is a hands-on approach to learning that allows students to interact with local professionals such as Tai Chi instructors and military veterans as they lead activities or live demonstrations. Students are divided into multiple groups and rotate around each activity throughout the day.
Since 2006, Penn Robotics Team 135 has been an integral rotation in the Horizon Elementary School Field Day as an expert in STEM education and FIRST. As our twelfth year doing this, many of our own seniors who led these rotations are now getting the opportunity to reflect back and see themselves in the same shoes as the students they’re mentoring. Over the years, our involvement in Horizon Field Day has inspired many students to get more involved in STEM in the form of FLL teams: the PHM school system has seen a great many FLL teams form, many more go onto win a variety of awards, and a few even go to the FIRST World Championships.
While the content of the presentations were no different than other years, apart from the new robot, the new perspectives of our senior mentors was unmistakable, both when they explained the various aspects of robotics and performed tricks with our robots.
It’s been a great season, and this was a great end of the year community event. Team 135 wishes everyone who’s reading this a great summer!