Advocating for STEM in Louisiana and Beyond
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
As a group of students from around our area, Team Phenomena uses our collective differences to encourage the spread of FIRST®, its mission and a love of STEM. We take pride in our ability to share our knowledge and resources with neighboring FIRST teams, our community, and those across Louisiana, and we embrace the principles of mentoring and assisting our community in everything we do.
We’ve made it our mission to be advocates for STEM across Louisiana. In addition to hosting annual FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments in our community, we have traveled as far as 240 miles across the state to host events and train students in areas that traditionally lack access to robotics. Our mantra is “one face at a time” — the idea that we should approach STEM one student at a time, taking a personalized approach to every person we speak with and give everyone the opportunity to explore their interests.
Our team finds other ways to give back, too: We’ve donated all proceeds from our tournaments to nonprofits such as Hope Extreme, which offers free after-school tutoring, and McKinney Byrd Academy, which offers low tuition to at-risk students. We’ve also donated LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robot kits and lesson plans to two schools in Haiti and regularly attend events to exhibit our robot and speak about the importance of STEM education; we’ve presented at the Louisiana State Capitol, University of Louisiana’s Engineer Day, the Governor’s Luncheon, the Louisiana Math and Science Teacher Conference, and many more.