The Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College college blurs the line between high school and college. Further changing the culture in our community, this 5 year blended program combines 3-4 years at our school with 1-2 years with our partner, Washtenaw Community College. Our state-accredited middle college requires students obtain at least 15 college credits before graduation, because studies show that when students earn 15 or more college credits before high school graduation, they are 80% more likely to obtain a degree.
Every class in our school integrates engineering principles into our work. For example, our ELA classes work with our manufacturing classes to act as the technical writing team for projects. All STEM2 Middle College students utilize our team’s manufacturing equipment and engineering lab for their required engineering and design courses.
ften robotics programs attract those who are already motivated and academically successful--in our community that is not the norm. 85% of our current senior class was not proficient in science and 50% were not proficient in math as 8th graders. After 4 years of exposure to FIRST Robotics, our once failing students significantly out-perform their peers and lead our district in academic success, awards from community partners, scholarships and in nearly every measured academic metric.
The graduation rate of our two former school districts was 69%. Comparatively, the graduation rate of our STEM2 Middle College is 91%.
Grizzlies Meet with Congress
Over the summer of 2015, we traveled to Washington, DC to meet with members of Congress through Team RUSH’s National Advocacy Conference. We met with members of the House and Senate just before they were set to adopt new federal education policy and shared the unique academic achievement data of our students as a result of being on our FRC team. This encouraged them to support a measure that would provide federal funding for STEM-based after-school programs like FIRST Robotics. FIRST officials continued to use our data as the linchpin of their argument to win bipartisan support needed to pass this bill.
Ypsilanti Heritage Festival
For many years prior to the merger of our two districts, Team 66 and Team 470 came together to showcase FIRST Robotics programs at our Ypsilanti Heritage Festival.
Our joint demonstrations have exposed over one million visitors to FIRST. We have continued to demonstrate FRC robots and have been joined by many teams from neighboring communities, including FRC Team 862 Lightning Robotics from Canton, MI and FRC Team 1502 Technical Difficulties from Chelsea, MI.
Grizzlies Give a TEDx Talk
This unique two-person talk explores the story of an educator who founded a middle college high school, based on the principles of F.I.R.S.T. Robotics, and one of the students who has been impacted by this unique approach to urban, at-risk education. Hands-on design and manufacturing courses form the backbone of the curriculum in the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College. In an educational era where manufacturing classes are seen as relics of the past, a student’s story of her transformed life suggests that hands on technical engagement may be the future of education. View the talk here.
Grizzlies Host the Ypsilanti Relay For Life
Relay For Life is a life-changing event where participants Celebrate victories over cancer, Fight Back against cancer by learning about prevention and Remember loved-ones lost to cancer.
YCS Robotics has participated in Relay For Life of Ypsilanti since 2011. We proudly showcase our robot and other Robotics programs.
Youth Robotics Summer Camp
For the past 3 years, we’ve partnered with the Ypsilanti Township Recreation Department to teach a weeklong robotics summer camp for students in grades 3-8. Each year we challenge 24 participants to maneuver FRC robots through an obstacle course, as well as design and build their own NXT robots, which ends with a parade of robots for their parents.
The Color Run
Since 2014, YCS Robotics has demonstrated our T-Shirt Shooting Robot at the Start Line of the Annual Color Run, hosted by the City of Ypsilanti.
This fun 5k has runners winding through the streets of historic Ypsilanti getting color sprayed on them, this event draws thousands of runners and their families to our city every year and we are proud to expose these runners to FIRST Robotics!