Our outreach department is made up of the Link and Vision Branches.


We curate workshops for students from K-12, fundraise money for our team and philanthropic efforts, design projects that positively impact our community, and thoroughly document our progress along the way.

In order to achieve our high goals, we meet up with industry leaders and educators, design curriculums with direct feedback from students, and actively work with institutions to improve our community.

2020-21 pre-season

November 16, 2021
Lisa Freed ConnectCon

Dr. Lisa Freed, an MIT research scientist with 137 publications in the field of bioengineering, will be speaking to [AHS] students on November 16th at 5:00pm. As a researcher, Dr. Freed specializes in the intersection of biology and robotics by working on groundbreaking prosthetics and human motion studies, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering. At MIT, she is currently working on providing amputees prosthetic sensory motion and control. Through her role at NASA, Dr. Freed has contributed to the biotech facility on the Mir Space Station as well.


As an alumni of MIT and a world-renowned bioengineer, Dr. Lisa Freed can provide valuable insight for students to pursue a career in this innovative field. You can experience her live from 5:00pm - 6:00pm on Tuesday, November 16, followed by an open audience Q&A. To attend, please fill out the registration form at tinyurl.com/lisa-freed, and you'll receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting.


This event is brought to you in collaboration by AHS Ink and Metal and AHS Inspire Speaker Series.

April 8, 2020 - August 16, 2020
engineering & coding classes

We have brainstormed, developed, curated, and marketed a curriculum for fifth to tenth graders. The curriculum is split into four sections: 5th-6th grade engineering, 7th-10th grade engineering, 5th-6th grade coding, and 7th-10th grade coding. The curriculum is also open-source, as it is listed in the "RESOURCES" tab in our website. We encourage other robotics team to utilize our curriculum to provide education to young students. When formulating the curriculum, we consulted Wayne Chung, the associate professor and Product Design Program Chair for Carnegie Mellon. He gave us knowledge about what robotics and design recruits lack and told us what to look for in students when we are recruiting for our team. In addition, we consulted José Gustavo Calderón de Anda, a finalist for the 2020 Global Teacher Prize. He emphasized the importance of showing students the real world applications of their work, a quality we made sure to include in our curriculums.  In addition, we have donated much of the proceeds to our COVID-19 fundraiser for the Alameda County Food Bank.

June 15, 2020
alameda county community food bank

We have raised over $5,000 for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. We presented a check on June 15, and we talked with their staff members about the impact of our present and future contributions. The ACCFB services over 20,000 people every week, providing an essential resource in a dire time. To add on, this curriculum has been utilized as an open source document that has been accessed by over 400 FLL teams, including team Chocolate Cyborgs, an FTC team. Over the course of 16 weeks, we served students of a wide age-group ranging from 5th to 12th graders. We decided to fundraise due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we raised money by holding engineering and coding classes, advertising on social media, and creating a website to make it easier for donors.

2020-21 SEASON

August 2018- Present

trash sorter and trash sorter app

The trash crisis is a pressing environmental issue that we began to solve in 2018. Our initial version included an algorithm to sort waste into trash or recycling. It was paired with a raspberry pi and camera in a wooden box. However, we wanted to increase accessibility and convenience. This year we have created a trash sorter app, available on iOS, called Instasort. The user simply takes a picture, and the app classifies it into one of the three bins. The algorithm has a 97% accuracy rate and is constantly being improved. Additionally, to increase convenience and interest in STEM, we are in the process of creating a mechanized trash sorter that automatically sorts a piece of waste that is placed within it. We hope to implement this at a local school to teach kids about sorting trash and how we can use STEM to solve societal issues.

July - Present

crash course videos

During these times, we haven't been able to mentor teams in person as we had planned to in the beginning of the season. However, we were still committed to the idea of helping out other teams and embracing the collaborative spirit of FIRST. Therefore, we began a series of crash course videos on our YouTube channel, Ink and Metal 5773. Our videos are 3 - 10 minutes long and explain concepts related to FIRST such as the function of REV control hubs, how to start your own team, and the design process. Each of these videos allow team members to gain a greater understanding of the topic they are researching and to impact anywhere between 30 and 2000 viewers. We are currently working on our next set of videos and hope that they can help FIRST teams and individuals in their robotics journey. 

December 13, 2020
shadowing program

We have created and shared a curriculum-based and interactive program, the shadowing program, for students who were deeply interested in robotics but did not have the time to dedicate to a team. By getting a walkthrough through this program, they gained a better understanding of the operations of robotics, the optimizations of design, and be able to comprehend the various interfaces of which are in computer science. Students rotated between the main divisions of mechanical, code, and outreach. In addition, they were also given the opportunity to create conceptual ideas and designs that work to assist the community around them. By watching the crash course videos during this time, and understand the functionality of the team, they were able to use hands-on activities to understand the intricate machinery in robotics.

July 2020
door openers/face shields

We have donated over 200 door openers and 300 face shields to the Alameda County Community Foodbank. In addition, we had donated the materials that we have made to Washington, Stanford, and Kaiser hospitals around the Bay Area. We worked with Washington Hospital Infection Control unit, and a couple front-line workers at the ACCFB to distribute and further enhance our products. Since PPE was at a very limiting access, we utilized an open-source designer material to create our face shields. As part of our motive to implementing this idea was to create a tool that allows front-line workers to open doors, access their keyboards without being afraid of outcomes, and grab materials without being exposed to other items. As a result, we have received many letters of appreciation from the food bank and we were much appreciated for our generosity. 

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