Early in our history, teams expected us to be a “flash in the pan” ‒ a team that would do great things and then fade. It’s tempting for heroes to turn away from adversity, but not us! We aspire to inspire others to expand all FIRST programs and we’re proud of it!
Zach S: “When I was in 4th grade, a Nut helped me transform ideas into code. Once I became a Nut, I mentored the same FLL team I was on. It’s inspirational to see kids in the same position I was, knowing they look up to me. Hopefully they become Nuts and continue the ‘Circle of FIRST.'”
His story is one of many. Since we began FIRST in Flagstaff, we’ve mentored all local teams. At our inaugural Meet-your-Mentor Day, we paired Nuts with 13 teams to assist in all aspects of FLL. We also celebrated our 10th annual FLL qualifier. We become family to our teams; one Nut even traveled to the AZ Championship to support her team the day after she returned from Europe!
Our FLL season extends into summer with our student-designed, week-long summer camp; Camp COCONUTS 1.0 focuses on programming, and 2.0 incorporates mechanical design. Logan: “On sumo wrestling day, my team built an awesome robot and made it to the finals! It was amazing to see their faces light up when they realized their potential.” We become heroes in the kids’ eyes, cultivating the next generation of STEM innovators and promoting FIRST.
We transformed Camp into FLL in a Nutshell, a comprehensive FLL guide. In collaboration with our city and county school districts, teachers can take a 2-day training for professional development. It’s been taught in NH, Diné College on the Navajo Nation, Puerto Rico and FRC 166’s summer program.
Each year, we attend innumerable outreach events, spreading awareness of FIRST and our team to the community. This allows us to start teams, gain sponsors and partners, recruit mentors and volunteers and connect students to teams. Results of our outreach extend to infinity and beyond, leading to more teams than we can count after 10 years. Our team has become one of the most recognizable icons of STEM; we commonly hear “Hey, it’s the CocoNuts!”