Outreach

The Team's approach to outreach is three-fold:

  1. Fulfilling its mission "to provide all students in our community with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in STEM, leadership, and finance through training for and participation in competitions."
  2. Supporting fellow FIRST teams as a member of the FIRST community
  3. Bonding as a team over non-FIRST related community service

For the first of the three, over the past few years Team 5499 has established a tradition of exciting students who are not yet high school age about STEM at events such as the Solano Stroll and Berkeley Sunday Streets. As a team at Berkeley High School, the Team made an effort to recruit students from on campus groups such as STEM Club, STEMinist, Hack Club, Girls Who Code, and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Hispanic Society of Engineers (HSE) Jr. Chapters at our school. Now, as a community team, The Bay Orangutans are able to more easily incorporate students from other schools as well. The Team hopes to collaborate with Bart Sudderth of the 100th Black Man Project to start a FIRST Lego League (FLL) team at nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Mr. Bart is based in Atlanta Georgia and has started over 100 FLL teams across the country. Mr. Bart plans to help The Bay Orangutans acquire the skills and expertise to start many more FLL teams of their own. The Team also plans to collaborate with Sara Dentan, the Berkeley Public Library's Manager of Neighborhood and Children's Services to expand the Berkeley Public Library's Lego Program for k-3 students at the Central Branch to a community FLL Jr. team.

Finally, the Team traditionally has team-wide coastal cleanups nearby and hopes to do more volunteer work in the future with the Alameda County 4-H.