Short story: teenagers are having fun in the suburbs of Washington D.C.! ... Longer story...
Autodidactic Intelligent Minors Inc. (a.k.a. AIM Robotics) is a Virginia non-profit founded in 2003 for student robotics education. We're a dedicated group of families and mentors who participate in the global FIRST®Robotics Competition (FRC). A famous inventor founded that in 1989 with a goal to make STEM cool while playing amazing games at all ages. These games are so addictive that grown men come back to play after their children leave for college! It starts first Saturday in January when a new game is revealed worldwide. Teams strategize the objectives, design and build a robot from the wheels up, compliant to a huge set of rules, all within 45 days. Robots are typically shaped and sized like ... a 140 pound ottoman, burning 2HP of energy in a three-on-three shoving match and moving faster than you can run!
Here is our truly unique offering. We're the only team known to do all that within a vehicle. Huh?
Yes some interested students "evolved" an 80's Greyhound from a motor-coach into our mobile-workshop over the last three years - and FRC awarded us for this accomplishment twice! The AIM philosophy is students pick what they work on and this bus reno appears to be a fun but unending project that teaches them useful life skills. FRC robot development is ALL done inside the mobile workshop while parked at a church. Once or twice a year we do meet in the church building if weather makes comfort in the shop impractical. We make our own heat and electricity, and eat in it together, and keep old robots inside for demos, and so on.
AIM plays the FRC varsity level as team 1123 from January thru April, though we have activities all year. 1123 is the original "community team" in Northern Virginia which makes us an ideal place for any student to participate regardless of their school affiliation. We have students from public, private, and home schools in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Arlington counties. However, we don't poach students from existing school teams unless the student is ineligible for their home team.
Finally, I must mention many many years of steady support from General Dynamics and Booz Allen Hamilton, which has made all of this possible for so many people.
I hope you can come around to check us out, join or mentor, and enjoy the game. V/R,