The Blind Brook Jellyfish, FTC Team 4654, was founded in 2010. The team has inspired others by reaching out to the community with incredible enthusiasm. Club fair showcases, advocating STEM at Board of Education presentations, and educating younger students in robotics are the foundations of our team. We helped our school board design a Fabrication Lab , a wing dedicated solely to STEM, which finished construction in 2021. It includes advanced tools, allowing students to create complex projects and learn about the engineering process.
A few years ago, we contacted our elementary school about creating an FLL team, as many kids were interested; sadly, the administration opposed it. In order to foster the interest of younger students, we started Junior Jellies Robotics, an afterschool program for fourth and fifth graders to learn how to build a robot, code, and compete. This program was extremely popular and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it! As these same kids who participated in Junior Jellies Robotics came into our Middle School and High School, they had great interest in our other programs and in joining the team! In the spirit of FIRST, Junior Jellies Robotics teaches students not only about the engineering design process but mainly about concepts such as Cooperation and Gracious Professionalism. The team continues to strive towards creating a FLL team in the future.
In 2020, with the pandemic hindering our usual Junior Jellies programs, we created Junior Jellies Python, an online program for 4th-8th graders. For this program, we developed our own curriculum to ensure students learn skills that are genuinely useful to their development as coders and in everyday life. We were also able to get roughly 2 students for every trained instructor, which allowed each student to get the attention they needed and learn at their own pace. We are also starting a CAD program this year for middle and high school students. There is a huge jump in skill levels required when moving from the middle school to the high school engineering programs. We believed that there needed to be a middle step that would help students ease their way into more advanced 3D modelling.
In order to adapt to the inability to share materials due to COVID-19, we have also started Junior Jellies Engineering, with the goal of introducing students to engineering principles and tools that will help cultivate their creativity, and give them hands on experience creating fun projects themselves!
We host various community fundraisers, such as video game tournaments, which are not only a fun way to earn money, but also provide opportunities to promote our team and enlist new members. This also gives us the opportunity to show participants what we do as a team and show them our workspace!