Eagle Scouts Leave Robotics Legacy
Robotics Team Influenced By Scouting
Five local Eagle Scouts are taking the principles of Scouting to a whole new level. Through their leadership and service, members of The Q is Silqent, a FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team from Eagan High School, are sharing their knowledge with young children in their community.
The Q is Sliqent is comprised of eight members, five of which are Eagle Scouts from four different troops in Northern Star Council: Trevor Burgoyne (Troop 9221), Steven Wagner (Troop 9451), Tom Clark (Troop 9453), Jackson Lee (Troop 9458), and Nick Moe (Troop 9458).
All five of the Eagle Scouts have been working together in robotics since 6th grade when they were on a FIRST Lego League team. After reaching high school they moved on to FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC), where teams in grades seven through 12 are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to play a floor game in an alliance format.
In 2016, The Q is Silqent team developed a robotics curriculum for kindergartners and 1st graders called Q-Cares. Twice a month, the team volunteers at Oak Ridge Elementary School to teach engineering and computer programming concepts to students through a variety of activities – from building ramps and racing cars, to teaching programming through different online games.
The team has developed an amazing relationship with the younger students and have discovered that, while young, 5- and 6-year olds are surprisingly adaptive at learning STEM principles and eagerly look forward to the next Q-Cares visit.
“One of [the kids] says that he counts the number of sleeps until we come back,” says Trevor Burgoyne. “I know a lot of them have been asking for robots from their parents. So I know that we’re making an impact on these kids.”
Their volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed either. The team was recently given the Apple Award from the Dakota Valley Teachers’ Association, as well as a Congressional Service Award from U.S. Congressman John Kline. Their hope is that through the Q Cares program, kindergartners will develop the same passion for technology and robotics that their whole team has achieved.
That passion for robotics is best seen at competitions. In 2015 and 2016 the team qualified and competed at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, and was awarded the highest award, the Inspire Award, at the 2016 Championships. They have high hopes to perform well at the FTC State Championship at Washington Technology Magnet School in St. Paul on February 11 and move on to the Super-Regional and World competitions for the third year in a row.
The boys credit Scouting for having a tremendous impact on their success in robotics. They feel compelled to live up to their Eagle charges to promote STEM learning among younger Scouts, and to help younger Scouts stay involved in Scouting. The leadership, teamwork skills and spirit of service they’ve developed helped build their character and will continue to have an impact in their future lives.