One of the things that makes FIRST so interesting is the constant evolution of the program. In the beginning of FIRST Robotics Competition, teams were always based in high schools. Over time, schools joined forces to create teams while saving money. A few years ago, a new type of team was created for the first time: a team based out of a public library. Based at the Land O' Lakes Branch Library, the Edgar Allan Ohms have been a mainstay of FIRST Looks.
This year we were joined by Joanna Sanders, the team's safety captain. She talked about the early days of the team and how they work out of a library. The team builds in The Foundry, a makerspace built as a "fishbowl" within the library, allowing people to use power tools without interfering with other patrons. In exchange, the patrons can see what is happening within The Foundry, giving the team regular outreach opportunities.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.