Outreach 2014


  1. Holiday Fundraiser


Ho ho ho! Move aside Santa Claus, because there’s a new gift giver in town! ‘Twas the month before competition, and all through the lab, the Iron Panthers were stirring, making gifts that were “fab”. They tinkered and tankered, all through the night, to make gifts for the kids, oh wow, what a sight! To the tree lighting they went, and the parade they saw, to show of their spirit, and the Iron Panther paw! They sold ornaments and dog tags, and other galore! Don’t worry, there’s still more, in the Iron Panther store!  To represent the team, they all showed off their spirit. Iron Panthers on three, alright?



  1. Tree Lighting Ceremony


Talk about spirit! The Iron Panthers brought the FTC robot to Burlingame’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in order to show off the newly improved “Rubicorn” to the wider community. Kids and adults gathered around the table to gander at the mechanical beast that stood in front of them. Local politicians, choir groups, merchants, and vendors gather during the Tree Lighting Ceremony to celebrate the holidays and support the community.  We persevered, despite the rain, and received many compliments from community members.


III. Bag and Tag Dinner Fundraiser


On February 20th, the Iron Panthers held their first annual Bag and Tag Fundraiser Dinner. We raised not only over $1000, but also awareness of and support for the team! Wow! Not too shabby for a rookie team! Guests were able to see demonstrations of both the FTC and the FRC robots, as well as watch the Chairman’s Award video and Robot Release video as we unveiled the “Deadliest Catch.” We also presented a Prezi detailing our journey thus far. After a dinner provided by Iron Panther chefs and local businesses such as Crepevine, some guests were able to drive the FTC robot, raising the flag and hanging from the pull-up bar. Aside from Iron Panthers families and BHS teachers, major community members also attended, including Burlingame mayor Michael Brownrigg.


Burlingame High School


  1. Back to School Night


As one of our first outreach events, the Iron Panthers set up an informational table at BHS’s Back to School Night on August 29, 2013. Back to School Night is held within the first month of school for parents to get a glimpse into their child’s classes and extracurricular activities. We enjoyed meeting parents of potential recruits and talking about our new robotics program.


  1. Lunchtime Demonstrations



At various lunches throughout the school year, we have brought our robots out during lunch to demonstrate to the Burlingame High School community what we have been working on. Student can see the robot’s controls and how smoothly it runs through the home-made fields. During these times, our business team members advertise all our social networking sites to interested students, as well as the prospect of joining the team. The Iron Panthers have signed up several recruits through these events and solidified our connections to the Leadership program at school.


All our members help with setting up the field and the dismantling of it, taking some time from their classes and sacrificing their lunch period for the team. Before each lunch event the programmers double check the code, and the engineers examine the robot. The meetings have been great socially, garnering large crowds of students and interested teachers. Questions regarding the general environment of our team and the mechanics of the robot have been asked, which all of our members answer to the best of our abilities. We direct further possible questions students may have to our website which is updated periodically with new information.


III. Eighth Grade Parent Night


In early November we presented our program to incoming eighth grade students and families, telling parents all about our progress thus far and our hopes for the FTC and FRC competition seasons. The Iron Panthers were able to talk to many prospective members, hopefully recruiting several who will contribute–or perhaps, discover–their skills and talents next year.


  1. Computer Science


Robotics mentor and teacher advisor Christina Wade teaches the new AP Computer Science class at Burlingame High School. She also fought for the instigation of the class, pioneering it for our district. Many members of our team in all groups–programming, engineering, and business / publicity– are students in the class, learning Java programming. In fact, Programming lead Andrew Malta acts as a teacher-assistant for the class, too. Being self-taught in Java and successfully achieving a five on the AP test by himself, he now helps students struggling with coding in the new class.


  1. STEM Education Week


During Computer Science Education Week, December 9-13, 2013, Mrs. Wade and many members of the AP Computer Science class and the robotics team held daily activities to introduce BHS students to coding. We taught students how to create and run simple programs and make smartphone apps. Additionally, BHS hosted TED speaker and Romotive CEO Keller Rinaudo for an inspiring presentation on robotics and entrepreneurship.


  1. Hackathons

Some members of the programming team, including Leon Cheung, Alex Hsieh, and Max Chen, went to the Hackathon sponsored by NFTE Bay Area in San Francisco on October 12, 2013. Though they did not win awards, they enjoyed meeting the challenges of the event.


Furthermore, Mrs. Wade and her colleague at Aragon High School organized a second Hackathon at BHS on November 25, 2013. At the event, which was featured in the San Mateo Daily Journal,

A panel of speakers from the technology world [gathered] from 11 a.m.-noon for a [STEM] career panel discussion, including Burlingame High School parent Gail Mosse who is a Netflix consultant, software engineers, a technology sales worker and others. Students [then broke into] groups…to begin the hackathon. Each group [had] one mentor. Participants [were] asked to think of a problem in society and how they can most effectively solve it using technology. Students sketched up a design and its functionality and then presented their ideas to the group. They [had] until 3 p.m. to complete the task. Prizes and goodies [were] given to students for their creative ideas.


VII. Open House


This year, Open House overlapped with our first FRC competition, the Sacramento Regionals. However, the Iron Panthers were not about to let an outreach opportunity slip away! On Thursday, March 13, BHS held its Open House to showcase the programs offered at our school to current and future BHS families, and the Iron Panthers teamed up with shop class students to present both robotics and the Fab Lab. As the Deadliest Catch was busy at competition, we showed off our FTC robot and posters, generating interest in many incoming eighth graders, including some who had previously come to tour the school.


VIII. BIS Spring Fling

Last Spring we took both our FTC and FRC robot to our feeder middle school, Burlingame Intermediate School.  They have an annual spring STEM festival at their school.  We had a table with information and allowed the students to drive the robot.  Our students answered questions about robotics and got the middle schoolers excited about STEM!


  1. Recruiting Meeting


In anticipation of the graduating seniors leaving our team this year, we organized a tour of our Fab Lab to showcase an average robotics meeting to underclassmen. Many freshmen, sophomores, and juniors arrived to explore the lab, ask questions, and shadow members of the engineering, programming and business teams. We showed the prospective members our CNC machine, briefed on how each machine operates, and gave the recruits an opportunity to observe current team members working in the Fab Lab. We even made a prototype mascot on our laser machine!


  1. International Food Fair

In collaboration with the Asian Club (which many of our members are a part of), our two teams banded together to raise funds for our robotics team! We raised over $800 dollars by selling both Panda Express food and Tpumps boba drinks while showing off our Iron Panthers spirit!




  1. The Burlingame B

Our school newspaper, the Burlingame B, has published several articles about the robotics team in the quarterly paper newspaper and on their website.


XII. Fab Lab


Undoubtedly, we owe much of our success to the unending support of the Burlingame High School Fabrication Lab (colloquially, the “Fab Lab”) and BHS shop teacher Jim Cowan. We have used our laser-cutting, CNC, and other machines to create parts for both our FTC and FRC robots. Mr. Cowan has also graciously donated his time, supervising the Iron Panthers on late-night work sessions. Many students, particularly those on engineering team, have taken woodshop and other classes, becoming familiar with proper machine operation and safety. We led new recruits on a tour through the Fab Lab