Team SPORK has partnered with #itcanwait, an organization created to stop distracted driving. It is important to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and help save the lives of innocent people. The majority of the population disapproves distracted driving but people still continue to use their cellphones while on the road. We encourage everyone to take the pledge and make the change now.

Every May we give a presentation to 1000 K-8th graders, spreading the word of FIRST and telling them about Team SPORK. We talk to them about joining Jr FLL, FLL, and our FRC team, Team SPORK. We tell them about how our season works, what they can expect from a robotics team, and why we love it so much. We try to get everyone involved by letting them drive that season’s robot and be human players. When asked if they think robotics looks cool, everyone raises their hands and say that they can’t wait to join a team. Their enthusiasm inspires us to increase FIRST awareness so every child can experience this.

Team SPORK stands for Students Providing Outreach and Robotic Kinship. This means that we strive to inspire younger generations. We mentor many Jr FLL, FLL, and FRC teams, including well over 150 kids this year alone. It is exciting to see them grow in STEM and be so enthusiastic about robotics. They get so excited about everything to do with robotics, FIRST, and STEM. We love going to and running their competitions because the smiles on the children’s faces are so big and don’t fade the whole day. Even if they don’t win, they are happy about just being there and feel accomplished about where their robot and projects have gotten them. It is very touching when they talk about how they can’t wait to be in high school because they want to be on Team SPORK. We are overjoyed to know that these kids understand the meaning of FIRST and it makes us want to continue mentoring them. We dedicate ten or more hours a week to mentoring FIRST students. Team SPORK is even home to the 2015 NC FLL Youth Mentor of the Year, Erin Lashley.

SPORK students co-hosted a summer camp with a local FLL team, the Universal Builders. They helped younger students from first to fourth grade learn about FIRST. Every day they were presented with a theme and had to build a project and LEGO creation based around it. After attending the camp many students wanted to join the Jr FLL or FLL teams, and were excited to join Team SPORK in the future.