Team Impact AND CommunIty Outreach
Team Impact and CommunIty Outreach
The majority of FIRST Robotics Competition participants participate in key STEM activities on the team and experience gains in a number of outcomes. The positive impact on FIRST Robotics Competition participants is gratifying and well documented. Over 88% have more interest in doing well in school and 92% are more interested in attending college. We, as NoktaParantez, are participating in and organizing many events. You can see the detailed description below.
As a team we find it immensely important to give back to our community and help others that are in need, educate children on topics that we as a group find important and somewhat crucial to the life that they have ahead of them.
Hisar Coding Summit
We have been hosting a coding based event for the last five years. Last year we had 200 participants consisting of teachers and students, and a total of 15 different workshops such as; Scratch & Makey Makey, Programming with Arduino, Raspberry Pi & Python, MIT App Inventor & Mobile Application, Java / Processing, 3D Design with Maya, IOS Mobile Application, Game Development with Unity, Illustrator & After Effects, 3D Design with Fusion 360, Chuck And Music Programming with Sonic Pi, Image Processing, Machine Learning, LabVIEW, Robotic Programming with LEGO EV3. The event is open for people of all ages, ranging from elementary school children to parents and teachers. We created and shared all about the course contents and tutorials.
This year we will be organizing the 6th annual Coding Summit at our school on the 1th 2th and 3th of April 2022. This year our team members will be giving workshops on; Intro to Programming with Scratch, Machine Learning for Kids, Prototyping Mobile Applications with Figma, Introduction to AI with Python (AI 101), Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Market, Quick Prototyping with Autodesk Fusion 360, Introduction to Programming with Java, Podcasting 101, Cybersecurity, Web Scraping with Python, AI Training with Python (AI 102), Computer Vision with OpenCV, React Native, Game Design and Development with Unity, Quantum Computing
The Coding Summit contributes to the spreading of STEAM amongst elementary, middle and high school students through peer mentoring and education. This creates a strong basis for both girls and boys that want to enter the STEAM fields and sets them on a path that will lead to FLL and FRC. In addition, the summit is open to the public and aims to further the public’s knowledge on these topics.
Coding Summit with American Community School’ Athens
The 1st ‘Innovation Summit’ was held at the American Community School in Athens, Greece which was initiated with the collaboration of our school (Hisar School) and the American Community School. The students from ASC, AFS Thessaloniki and Hisar School gave various workshops such as Scratch, Arduino, Fusion and Makey Makey while other students from ASC gave workshops on Botany and Mental Health. Overall, four of the twelve workshops were given by our students which introduced 400 students to our fields.
The ASC students hosted us; we were able to get to know a different culture and had a great time. We had the opportunity to organize an inspiring organization with our peers from different cultures and geographies.
The 2nd ‘Innovation Summit’ was held in Thessaloniki.
The 3rd ‘Innovation Summit’ took place once again at the American Community School in Athens, Greece. The summit was co-organized by ACS and AFS. Our members gave workshops on Python, Fusion360, entrepreneurship and Scratch to 300 students between the ages of 11-16. The summit took place on the 19th and 20th of February 2020. The students who participated were hosted at the participant’s homes and were able to immerse themselves in a foreign culture and lifestyle.
Innovation Summit with American Farm School’ Thessaloniki
With the inspiration from the collaboration of Hisar Coding Summit and Athens American Community School and with the help of Hisar School's hisarCS students and teachers, American Farm School’ Thessaloniki organized its own "Innovation Summit" as well.
On the 17th and 18th of October, 2019, 2 members from our team-taught "Scratch & Makey Makey" and "Python with Micro:bit" at the ‘Innovation Summit’ that was hosted at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki. It was the 2nd ‘Innovation Summit’ that was orchestrated in collaboration with the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, American Community School in Athens and Hisar School. With the growing interest in the fields that are presented at the summit we were able to organize it once more.
This collaboration was a great experience for our team members who shared their knowledge and skills, had intercultural communication and emerged new ideas for variety of new projects.
Usually organized at the University of Cambridge, we hosted the first-ever PiWars competition in Turkey at our school between 22-23 March 2019. In addition, 3D design, programming and basic electronics training were also given at the event.
At the competition, participating teams made Raspberry Pi-based robots that competed in both remote control and autonomous missions, such as rugged track completion, labyrinth solving, and target hitting. The event was open to all high school students for free, and support was provided to teams unable to acquire a robot kit.
In 2020 we will be organizing PiWars Turkey again. The event will take place at our school, Hisar School, on the 6th and 7th of March. The goal of PiWars Turkey is to make robotics more accessible to everyone. We are aware that this cannot be accomplished with only one competition. Which is why students from our HisarCS department will be giving training for the 2nd time on the 7th and 8th of February. The trainings will include Python, Raspberry Pi, 3D design and computer vision. At the end of these trainings each team will create their own basic RasPi robot which they will be able to improve with the robot kits that will be later provided to them.
At the competition, participating teams will make Raspberry Pi-based robots that will compete in both remote control and autonomous missions, such as rugged track completion, labyrinth solving, and target hitting. The event is organized free of charge to all high school students to support teams who cannot acquire a robot. This process not only will increase our students' mastery in programming, electronics and robotics, it will also contribute to the development of mentoring, leadership and organizational skills.
PyCon UK Conference
PyCon UK Conference in Cardiff England is a conference which consists of a wide range of content related to Python programming language, hosting professionals and students from all over the world.
To increase our team's experience and knowledge in the field of programming and to gain different values in international environments by the relationships they establish, we support our team members to take part in different international platforms with their own projects and presentations. Accordingly, we've been participating in the PyCon UK Conference since 2017.
In 2018, some of our team members participated in the Teknofest Istanbul Aerospace and Technology Festival held at the Istanbul Third Airport on September 20-23. We competed in five different categories: Model Aircraft, Turkish Airlines Hackathon, Robotic Conquest 1453, Take-Off Startup and Artificial Intelligence categories and represented our team.
Our team members took lessons from the valuable instructors of Istanbul Technical University for one month at the ITU Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics. They designed, calculated and constructed their own model planes under the mentorship of ITU students. Their airplane received the highest flight score out of the 15 participating teams. Our team members competing in the hackathon won the Sabre Special Award with their app ‘Flick and Fly’. They were the only high school team to participate in the Turkish Airlines Hackathon organized under Teknofest.
In 2019, many of our team members joined Teknofest again by competing in the Robotic 1453, Artificial Intelligence, fixed-wing Fighter UAV, rotary-wing Fighter UAV, Take Off Istanbul, HackIstanbul, THY Hackathon and both categories of flying car design competitions. In the Robotic 1453 matches out of 250 teams, our team was in the 30 finalists. In the Fighter UAV out of 502 teams, our team finished 14th. In the artificial intelligence competition our team placed 38th out of 339 teams.
Technovation Challenge is an international organization which aims to provide opportunities for girls about programming, product development, entrepreneurship and leadership. Every year, female students around the world identify a problem in their community and try to find a solution on that issue by designing and coding a mobile application. Furthermore, this application is marketed and promoted with a pitch video and a comprehensive business plan.
As hisarCS, we've been participating in this challenge for 7 years. In fact, our team members Dafne Sarfati, Irmak Kaşıkçı, Nil Kastro and Debi Ahitov participated in the Technovation Challenge 2018 and ended up being one of the six finalists amongst 2200 teams in the Junior Division. They joined the last round, WorldPitch in San Francisco, Silicon Valley by developing a game application that plants trees in real life to solve the problem of air pollution, thus supporting afforestation. Moreover, they partnered with the Foundation for the Protection and Promotion of the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ÇEKÜL) to be able to plant the trees. This year they are organizing a Technovation Launch Event at our school where participants will receive training on how to identify problems and create solutions while also advancing themselves in various coding workshops like, Thunkable, MIT App Inventor is in the beginning phase for XCode.
HisarCS’s very own, Nadin Tamer, attended the Swift Educator Summit in Berlin with her interdisciplinary “Code of Life” playground, which earned her a WWDC scholarship.
Robotex International Competition
Some of the students in our team have participated in the Robotex International Robotics Competition in Tallinn, Estonia. They participated in different branches of the competition such as the Entrepreneurial Challenge, Drone Race, Mini Sumo, and Line Following. Our Entrepreneurial Challenge team won second place in the competition.
In our club hours, our Mechanics Mentor gives 10 of our team members Arduino lectures. With what the members learned in the club hours, they will prepare and give lessons to their classmates during their Computer Science lessons. The classes will consist of making a led light up, turning on a buzzer, rotating a servo, making an ultrasonic sensor that measures a certain length and making a running button.
A smaller team from within HisarCS created an educational robot for elementary school kids. The robot called Pomelo equips kids with basic algorithmic skills and increases the efficiency of the classroom environment. Pomelo encourages kids to use technology as an interactive learning tool instead of a form of addictive entertainment while creating a more cooperative and social classroom environment.
After writing a research paper on Pomelo’s effects on the modern elementary school classroom environment and on the mental health of students. We submitted this paper to numerous conferences and heard back from three: “The Internet of Toys: Digitising Early Childhood International Preconference” by DigiLitEY, the “FabLearn 2019: 8th Annual Conference on Maker Education” by Columbia University and the “ACM/IEEE Human-Robot Interaction Conference (HRI)” targeted towards graduate students. We have committed to HRI in South Korea in 2019 on “Interactive Robotic Objects for Collaboration”. They published the paper that the ACM Digital Library.
One of the activities that we care about and support the team members in their participation is the Hackathons.
Hackathons, which enable team members to gain experience in entrepreneurship and application development in the digital world, offer priceless experiences in many subjects related to university life and business.
FIRST Tech Challenge is challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. This year, we’ve registered to the FTC Romania, Cluj-Napoca event. Aim of this challenge is developing STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the values of hard work, innovation, and working as a team.
FLL & FLL Junior
FIRST LEGO League (FLL), is an event designed for students aged 9 to 16, with the purpose to support children and youngsters to recognize themselves as scientists and engineers who are beneficial to the society and considerate citizens.
Our team coaches the FLL team on some of the projects and mentors them. In 2018 our middle school FLL team competed in the Turkey leg of the FLL tournament with the theme "Hydrodynamic: Journey of Water" took place in February at the Yeditepe University Kayışdağı Campus.
They won the Best Presentation Award that FLL awards to a team that effectively communicates a qualified solution and sharing in an inspiring presentation developed with imagination.
World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Team, Izmir
The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is a global robotics competition aimed towards a demographic of ten to nineteen-year olds that features a Lego-based hardware-software platform enabling students to program robots that will compete with each other on a series of tasks such as but not limited to a robotic football game and advanced robotics challenge.
Our Middle School students competed in the competition with 2 teams; HİSAR_CS competed in the “Regular” category whereas HİSAR_CS_FB competed in the Futbol category on May 25, 2018, in İzmir.
Our students developed their skills in teamwork, communication, concentration, time management, mechanical programming and design thanks to this competition for which they have prepared throughout the year with our Computer Science Education Department. The teams are also preparing for this year’s tournament and our team is still mentoring them.
Volunteer FLL & FRC
Students from our team volunteered in the FLL tournament organized by the “Bilim Kahramanları Derneği” on February 2nd and 3rd. This tournament, which educates participants about tournaments and volunteers about organizational skills, also paves the way to spread FIRST’s messages to more children and teenagers.
We help the FIRST foundation touch and change the lives of thousands of children by aiding existing organizations in spreading science and hope.
Certain members of our team volunteered as event staff at the 2017 New York City Regional and the 2017 Houston World Championship.
Support Foundation for Civil Society
A few members of our team participated in the 40th Istanbul Marathon for Support Foundation for Civil Society. The foundation assists smaller-scale non-governmental organizations launch their projects. Our members took part in the marathon by running on behalf of the children’s fund which ensures a better life for all children, takes action against violence towards minors, and provides support for them to continue their education. In the upcoming months they will meet the children and spend time with them.
1 Lego 1 Friend
A lot of students in our school once played with Lego or at least had a Lego in their house. As students grow up, they stop playing with their toys, like Legos. With this campaign, our team will be using unused legos for a better cause. Our goal is to collect as many Legos as we can and make other students have a chance to learn and play at the same time.