Velocity Vortex Outreach

Outreach is at the very core of what Lord of the Bricks stands for.  Each season, our team participates in numerous outreach events and activities.  Our outreach motto is, “If they ask us, we will say yes!” 

Here are a number of the outreach activities our team has participated in during this season:

  • Homeschool STEM Share Fair
  • George Watkins Elementary School, New Kent County, VA:
  • Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) Convention 2012-2016
  • FIRST Community of Experts
  • FTC TEC Network Member
  • Children’s Museum of Virginia STEM Expo
  • Barnes & Nobles Bookstore Educator Days
  • STEM Camps
  • Carpentry Classes
  • Virginia FIRST Volunteer Open House        
  • Hosted a FIRST ResQ Post-season scrimmage
  • Set up practice fields at Virginia State Championships
  • Hosted a STEM Outreach event at Libbie Mill Library
  • MLK STEM Day – Hosted by the MLK Boys & Girls Club 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017
  • Program Corner Participants for FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia FRC Event
  • Richmond Family Summer Camp Expo
  • Sweet Frog Spirit Night
  • CarQuest  Short Pump Car Wash
  • FLL Kickoff Event Participation
  • Moving Furniture for our sponsor organization, Homeschool Resources Group
  • Homeschool Resources Group Open Houses
  • RavenCon 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
  • Team Member Specialty-Center School STEM Project Assistance
  • Coach Honored as SolidWorks Engineering’s Women in Engineering May 2016 Spotlight Recipient
  • SolidWorks 2017 Launch Event Representation
  • FTC Workshops Participation
  • Virginia FIRST Build-A-Bot Day Participation and team assistance
  • Midas Oil Change Coupon Sales
  • Krispy Kreme Donut Sales
  • Algebra Tutoring
  • Partnership with Youth Excel & Achievement, LLC.
  • Mentoring new FLL & FTC teams
  • Custom phone mount sharing with teams via Thingiverse
  • Social Media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, webpages
  • Attended GW School Pre-States Scrimmage
  • Provided volunteers for Virginia State Championships
  • Fundraising blitz for East Super Regional Championships, resulting in record sponsorships
  • Partner with Community First People for the People, a Louisiana nonprofit providing adult education in a job desert, where we provide basic computer literacy education

STEM Share Fair

Sharing STEM activities with homeschoolers from local co-ops

George Watkins Elementary School, New Kent County, VA

Parent demo – helping drum up support for robotics at the school! We welcome the new FLL team headed by coach Elizabeth Kappus!

Elizabeth Kappus <ekappus@nkcps.k12.va.us>

to me, Carol

Thank you so much for coming out to New Kent last evening. Some of the students attending

 came only to see what FIRST was all about. A special thank you to the ladies! 

I am sure we will see each other again and I will let you know how we progress.

Stay warm.

Beth Kappus, ITRT

New Kent County Public Schools

New Kent, Virginia 23141

Home Educator’s Association of Virginia (HEAV) Convention

Held June 9-11, 2016 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia, the HEAV convention is one of the largest {and best} homeschool conventions in the country and provides new and continuing home educating families with an amazing plethora of opportunities for inspiration, enrichment, information, and shopping for new and used curriculum, books and other resources.   The convention hosts more than 13,000 participants, and over 350 vendors.

FIRST Community of Experts

Hello FIRST Team 7039,


My name is Alison Palmer. I am one of Virginia FIRST’s VISTAs for this upcoming year. Currently, I am working on a project to create a Community of Experts here in FIRST Chesapeake to support FRC teams and FTC teams. This would be an online resource where teams needing help in a specific area can contact teams to utilize their expertise. Your team has been an identified expert in build for FTC. Would your team like to be a part of this program? If yes, what name, phone number, and email address can we use on the document?


Thank you,

Alison Palmer
FIRST ®  AmeriCorps VISTA, Virginia

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

200 Bedford Street  |  Manchester, NH 03101  | www.firstinspires.org 

FIRST Tech Challenge Team Engineering Collaborative (FTC TEC) Network

Fostering Peer to Peer Learning

Networked teams have the opportunity to learn, and a chance to facilitate learning for others through the use of Google Hangouts and a Google Community.  Hangouts may have specific topics or just be open for collaboration and discussion.  Any networked team is welcome to host or participate in the scheduled hangouts.  In addition to meetings there are opportunities for teams to reach out to others to get or give individual assistance using the Team Directory.  We welcome teams to further connect on their own schedules for team-to-team training, collaboration and socialization!  

Currently there are member teams in 35 States and 8 Countries!

Children’s Museum of Virginia STEM Expo

Dear Lord of the Bricks Robotics,


My name is Amanda Wontz, and I am the Special Events Coordinator for the Children’s Museum of Richmond.


We are planning a Robotics Day here on Saturday, April 2nd from 10:00AM-2:00PM. I am hoping that some of your team might be available to come to the Museum that day to lead an activity with the children, sparking their interest in robotics! We are hoping to have other robotics teams come as well!


Please let me know if you are at all interested in this. I greatly appreciate your consideration!


All the best,


Amanda Wontz

Special Events Coordinator

Children’s Museum of Richmond


Barnes & Nobles Bookstore Educator Days

Dear Homeschoolers:

 My name is Tawan Smith, Community Business Development Liaison here at Barnes & Noble Short Pump, and I am reaching out to you to remind you that Barnes & Noble is proud to support homeschoolers and educators throughout the year with a number of discounts, special events and free programs. Today, I want to remind you of one of the most important benefits:


Educator Discount Program and Educator Appreciation Events

We host four Educator Appreciation Events during the course of the year. The next Educator Appreciation Week is April 9th – 17th!!!

 Please let me know if you want to know more about any of our programs like Book Fairs and other Educator Events. Don’t hesitate to stop by and see me at Barnes & Noble Short Pump. I look forward to meeting you.


Tawan Smith

Community Business Development Liaison

Barnes & Noble Short Pump

11640 West Broad Street

Richmond, VA 23233

(804) 360-0103 p | (804) 360-3889 f | crm2029@bn.com

STEM Camps

Our team hosts various STEM camps throughout the school year and summer.  We introduce students to programming, robotics, Science, and various other areas of technology and art to increase their interest and awareness on STEM.

Carpentry Classes

Homeschool Resources Group offers students the opportunity to learn various skills and trades from a myriad of different teachers.  Our team hosted a six-project carpentry class, taught by a team mentor, and co-taught by a team member.  Students created projects such as a bird house, a tool box, a clock, a trivet, a trebuchet, and a jewelry box!

Virginia FIRST Volunteer Open House

Ellis, Samantha <sellis@virginiafirst.org>

to Leighann, me

Shari, thank you for agreeing to bring your team, Lord of the Bricks. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to call me at (804) 572-8454 or email me at this address. 

This will be a very casual Open House for potential volunteers to tour the facility, ask questions of staff and teams, and see demonstrations. We have asked teams to arrive at 5pm. The Open House will begin at 5:30. If you feel you need additional time to set up, just let us know. 

Here are the basics about the event:

Volunteer Open House

· Mechanicsville Warehouse location (8177 Mechanicsville Tpk, Mechanicsville, VA 23111) If searching on GPS or Google maps, search for "Cold Harbor Restaurant"- we are in the business complex behind the restaurant, all the way back.

· Wed. June 22nd 5 pm - 7 pm

· Bring the FTC bot and some students

· Wear Team shirts

· Demo the robot on the FTC Field and talk about the FTC Program

· Dinner will be provided (cookout type food)

Will you let me know approximately how many team members will attend, so we can anticipate food needs?

We appreciate your offer to help and look forward to seeing you next Wednesday.

Program Corner Participants for FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia FRC Event

Marin Kobin <mkobin@virginiafirst.org>

Hello Coaches, 


Thank you for signing up to bring your team out to the FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia Event.  The event is taking place on March 25 and 26 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA.  We do still have spots open for all shifts this weekend.  Therefore, if you’d like to sign up for another shift, or know of another team who might be interested in joining us, please let me know and I will make it happen! It doesn't have to be the whole team, if you have a few students who want to do another shift that is great.


Below you will find some details about the event, the Program Corner, and what to bring. 


Arrival Information 

• Meadow Event Park, State Farm Bureau Building (GPS Address 13191 or 13111 Dawn Blvd, Doswell, VA 23047) 

• Please park in the lot by the team and public entrance as indicated by the attached document and enter the door indicated by the yellow arrow for team and public. 

• Teams should check in at the FIRST Stop Table, this is where you will get your badges! We do ask that you return the badges after your shift so we can reuse them for other teams and at other events. 


What to Wear

• Wear team shirts!!!!

• Wear closed toed shoes!! If you want to go into the pits you must be wearing closed toed shoes. 


What all Teams should Bring

• Bring their own laptops if needed as well as power strips/extension cords

• Bring safety glasses if they have them (so they can go into the pits), we will have visitor safety glasses to borrow if you do not own any. 


Please remember your assigned shift time. 

•   Friday (3/25) 1st Shift: 9:00 AM to 12:30PM – Emily (FLL)

•   Friday (3/25) 2nd Shift: 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM - OPEN

•   Saturday (3/26) 1st Shift: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM – Tatsuya (FTC)

•   Saturday (3/26) 2nd Shift: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM – Shari (FTC)


Food information:

•   Concession stands will be open both Friday and Saturday to purchase food and drinks

•   Teams are welcome to bring your own food and drinks into the venue


I can be reached by phone at 516-633-1630


Please let me know if you have questions. 


Thank you,

Marin Kobin

Program Corner Coordinator for FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia Event.  

Richmond Family Summer Camp Expo

Richmond Family Magazine is one of Richmond’s mostly widely-circulated family magazines.  Our team participated in their annual Summer Camp Expo, with our robots and team members in tow!  We allowed students (and their parents) the opportunity to drive robots, learn about 3D printing, and sign up for summer camp activities with our team.

Sweet Frog Spirit Night

Our team hosted a spirit night at Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt Shop as both a fundraiser and an outreach event.  A percentage of the sales from this event went towards supporting the team for the upcoming season.

CarQuest  Short Pump Car Wash

Our team organized a car wash fundraiser to raise funds for the team.  We were hosted by our friends at CarQuest, who kindly allowed us to use their space and water to solicit donations for our services!

Moving Furniture for our sponsor organization, Homeschool Resources Group

When called to serve, we serve!  Our team parents were asked to help our sponsor organization, Homeschool Resources Group, move furniture from their storage unit into their building.  How could we say no?!?

RavenCon is an annual American science fiction convention founded in 2006 and held, originally, in Richmond, Virginia, but now hosted in Williamsburg, Virginia. The name "RavenCon" was chosen as a tribute to author Edgar Allan Poe, who lived in Richmond for a time.

Rise With the Machines: Saturday Morning Robotics Demo

Wake up to the sights and sounds of our future overlords chugging, whizzing, and battling it out as local robotics clubs strut their mechanical stuff! This event is fun for all ages.

Lord of the Bricks Robotics Team

Field Setup at FTC State Championships

Our team parents lent their hand (and their backs) to set up the practice fields at the State Championships.  Thanks for all you do!

SolidWorks 2017 Launch Event

Our Coach was invited to attend the SolidWorks 2017 Launch event as a special guest.  There was some great networking, fabulous events, and she even brought back free software and certification courses!

MLK STEM Day – Hosted by the MLK Boys & Girls Club

MLK Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond will host our Annual STEM Day and a Technology Fair hosted by Best Buy on March 16, 2016 from 5:00 - 7:00pm. We would love for you to host a hands on station or breakout room to showcase fun learning for 100 middle school students. The event will be fair style and we would like to have you be a part of the fun! Please let me know if you would be able to participate in this event.


Natima Jones, Club Director

MLK Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond

1000 Mosby Street, Richmond, VA 23223


804.715.2041 office

Partnership with Youth Excel & Achievement, LLC.

Youth Excel & Advancement LLC is an in-school counseling service that provide support in the public school setting.  It is an extension of educational services which are available to schools in the Metro-Richmond and surrounding areas.  The objective is to increase student success so as to prevent the need for a more restrictive placement. 

Partnering with YEA, our team will be able to reach youth with behavorial or disability issues who need to have a positive outlet for their energy.  By bringing robotics into these areas of high-risk students, we hope to foster a better community and a brighter outlook for these students who may tend to otherwise fall through the cracks.

Custom Phone Mount Sharing

With the rollout of the new phone systems, FTC teams faced the challenge of competing in head-to-head competition with technology that was not meant to withstand the force of contact that occurs within a robot competition.  Android phone, using the less-than-reliable connection of the charging port to maintain the sentience of the robot, tend to have a weakness at exactly that port. 

Our team faced this challenged, and quickly learned what we were up against.  With the help of our CAD mentor Gary, we developed a phone mount system that has proven to be sturdy and reliable at forcing a connection between the phone and the connection port.  We share this assembly with team via Thingiverse.com.  We hope it serves many as well as it has served us!

Social Networking

You can easily find Lord of the Bricks Robotics on one of our social networking sites!






Twitter: @LordoftheBricks

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr83o3A2__pfcSRZg5z7zfw

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