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Our Team's  Impact


Our Impact is divided into four areas

Making Landfall

Community Engagement: Maintain strong relationships with local organizations like Young Scientists of South Carolina, supporting each other through various means including fundraising, insurance, and project funding.
Collaborate with surrounding school districts, such as Dorchester District 2 and Colleton County School District, hosting events, mentoring teams, and fostering educational opportunities.

Sponsorship Support: Secure sponsorships from a diverse range of entities, including corporations like Boeing and Naval Information Warfare Center, as well as local businesses such as CEMS Engineering and Coastal Coffee Roasters.
Actively engage with sponsors through various channels like email, social media, press releases, and outreach events, ensuring sustained partnerships.

Media Initiatives and Social Media Engagement: Implement a variety of media initiatives such as vlogs and collaborations with other FRC teams, FIRST SC, Haas, and REV, to enhance community engagement.

Experience significant growth in social media engagement with a 94% increase in Instagram reach, 35% increase in engagement, and a substantial increase in YouTube views, leading to successful fundraising efforts.

Backyard and Beyond

Current Initiatives - 

  1. Project Tropical Storm:

    • Aimed at strengthening the FIRST pipeline, addressing the lack of FLL Explore/Discover opportunities in many elementary and middle schools.

    • Secured a LEGO Foundation grant resulting in the acquisition of 100 class packs, impacting over 1280 kids this year alone, equivalent to over 208 FLL teams.

    • Partnered with Nexton Elementary to host Tropical STEM Festival, providing a platform for 100+ class pack kids to showcase their learning.

  2. Educational Resources:

    • Created STEM kits funded by the FIRST ED&I grant, equipped with activities like binary bracelets and playdough circuits.

    • Conduct workshops across the pipeline, including presentations at the Peachtree Georgia Symposium and hosting workshops at FTC and FLL Kickoff events.

    • Collaborating with the South Carolina Center of Assistive Technology and Educational Research to enhance inclusivity of resources and foster an accessible learning environment for all students.

  3. ED&I Awareness:

    • Partnered with Autism Understanding Through Outreach and STEM on the Spectrum to increase awareness and foster a welcoming community for neurodiverse students.

    • Volunteer participation at events promoting female participation in STEM, including Girl Powered and STEMINIST Girls Camp.

    • Collaborated with various organizations on initiatives such as Menstrual Equity and Menstrual Products to ensure access to necessary resources at SC FIRST events.

    • Mandated FIRST ED&I and Safety training for all team members, emphasizing inclusivity and safety within the team environment.

Winds of Change

Building the Future Generation through FIRST and STEM Awareness:

At Category 5, we are dedicated to shaping the future generation by promoting FIRST and STEM awareness. Through our active community presence, we engage in outreach, mentorship, and advocacy efforts.

  • FIRST Outreach:

    • Engage with students across all levels of the FIRST pipeline, inspiring them to pursue their journey in STEM.

    • Participate in over 25 FLL events, hosting 10 of them, while also supporting 4 FTC and 3 FRC events.

    • Host and run 3 Storm Chaser camps during the summer, integrating NASA-astro camp lessons and providing immersive experiences in coding, STEM activities, and FIRST core values, impacting 250+ students.

  • STEM Awareness in the Community:

    • Showcase our competition robot and demonstrate STEM kits and ambassador robots at events such as the Air Show at Joint Base Charleston, Collin’s Aerospace, and Flowertown festival.

  • Mentorship Across the Pipeline:

    • Provide specialized support to teams across all levels of the FIRST programs, mentoring 2 FLL Explore teams, coaching 2 others, mentoring 14 FLL Challenge teams, and starting and mentoring 2 FTC teams in underserved communities like CCSD.

  • Youth Advocacy and Leadership:

    • Establish the FIRST South Carolina Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to advocate for students across the state and ensure their voices are heard.

    • Present at the 2022 and 2023 FIRST World Championships and FIRST Community Conference regarding the development of youth leadership in FIRST, gaining recognition from FIRST Headquarters for our impactful initiatives.

Surging Ahead

At Category 5, we are committed to advancing our impact and preparing for the future. Our strategic planning involves expanding educational resources and implementing innovative initiatives to broaden our reach and deepen our impact.

  1. Enhanced Educational Resources:

    • Developing additional FLL content to complement our class packs, ensuring sustainability and enrichment of our educational initiatives.

  2. STEM on the Go Trailer:

    • Finalizing our STEM on the Go Trailer initiative, equipped with STEM activities, tools, demo bots, lending robot closet, and ambassador robots.

    • By implementing this mobile outreach trailer, we aim to bring educational opportunities to underserved areas, extending our impact and fostering STEM engagement.

  3. The Marvin Project:

    • These bills allocate state funding to support competitive robotics programs and provide stipends for educators supporting STEM teams.

    • Collaborating with local legislative delegates to actively advocate for the adoption of this bill, enhancing opportunities across the state to cultivate FIRST Teams in South Carolina.

    • Aligning with our mission to support educators throughout South Carolina by advocating for the implementation of a bill similar to those in Michigan and Indiana.

    • Names after our Lead mentor, Matthew Marvin, Physics and CTE educator at Summerville High School. 




"This team has worked tirelesly to not only prepare for their competitive season but also reach out to the community to showcase the field of robotics."

Dr. E. Duplantis, Dorchester District Two


"These events would not have been possible without your support. I am particuarly impressed by your support of the Colleton event which is in one of our more rurla and underserved areas." 

Catherine Zende, FLL Program Delivery Partner


"Joseph Pye Elementary would like to thank you for your hard work and support during these last two school years.  Our school is extremely thanksful for the FIRST LEGO League Discover Class packs and FIRST LEGO League Explore Class packs and your support of our STEAM nights the last few years. "

Mrs. Jennifer Manning, 
JPES Robotics Coach

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