Plasma Robotics encourages its team members to constantly seek ways to help others through the use of it's Plasma Forward Campaign. This campaign is comprised of three main parts: Planned Service, FIRST Assistance, and Individual Acts of Kindness.
Each month, we plan out one or two defined service activities for the entire team to participate in. As the entire team devotes their time toward a specific service activity, we are able to do much more than any individual team member could do on their own. These monthly service activities also allow us to be seen as an organization that strives to do good, acting as an inspiration for other members of the community to go out and do good on their own.
Previous Organizations Helped:
- The Child Crisis Center
- United Food Bank
- Feed My Starving Children
- The International House of Friendship at ASU
Other Monthly Service Projects
- Annual Candy Drive for Operation Gratitude (200lbs over 3 years)
- Towel Collection for an Animal Shelter
- Letter Writing to teams affected by Natural Disasters
- Clothes Drive for kids in the Phillippines
In addition to our local community, The FIRST Community is something we deeply appreciate and desire to serve as well. Without the extensive network of students and mentors throughout the world who strive to be Gracious Professionals, neither FIRST nor Plasma Robotics would be near what it is today. Thus, we strive to also do all that we can each year to give back to the wider FIRST Community and to help make FIRST Robotics Competition an inspiring experience for all.
Each year, we build our own half-field of game pieces with the goal of not only helping us test our Robots as we build them, but also helping other local teams who may not have the resources to build their own. In the past, we have also brought these set pieces to the annual Duel in the Desert pre-bag scrimage event to further expand its reach and use throughout all of Arizona. This year, we were also able to build an extra Habitat module which we were able to donate to a local team (6413) outside of our immediate area.
At competition, we also strive to help other teams find success in their own spheres. Throughout the competition, we have a team of members and alumni-mentors who's main purpose is to find other teams in need of help and provide the skills, advice, and extra sets of hands needed to help them pass inspection or whatever else they need. For many of our members who have been involved with this in the past, this is one of their favorite parts of competition, as it not only helps elevate the playing field for all involved but also helps more students find that inspiration FIRST Robotics is truly about.
In addition, Plasma Robotics also open-sources much of our code and maintains a few other projects on our Github Repository for other teams to gain inspiration from. We have also had members give up their time to serve as Administrators and Moderators on the FIRST Robotics Competition Discord Server, which we helped to develop in it's early days after Championships in 2016. Through all that we do, we hope to follow the old adage of the wilderness and "Leave the FIRST Community better than we found it".
Individual Acts of Kindness
The most important service is the small, individual acts of kindness between indivudals each day. It is these seemingly insignificant acts that help to elevate our culture and communities to a higher level, and without them, our good works are founded upon nothing. Thus, Individual Acts of Kindness are something that Plasma Robotics strives to teach each of its members and the community as a whole.
At each of our meetings, we encourage our team members to continuously look for those simple ways to help other people. In the past, we have given each team member a dollar and encouraged them to match that dollar and use it to help someone else. Over the last several years, we have been able to see the way our team members have grown more charitable and seem more thoughtful of others as they go about their daily lives. In the month of December of 2018, team members indiviudally participated in 17 agreed-upon acts of service throughout their own lives, and we hope to continue this as time goes on.
How to Get Involved
Follow our example: Go about doing good in all that you do and say. Plan defined ways that your team or organization can help the community or world as a whole each month. Give back to your community. Look for the little things you can do to brighten someone else's life. Together, we can change the world.
The end-goal of Plasma Forward is to inspire a change in the culture of our world, not only in regards to the recognition of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, but also in the way that we treat each other as we go about our daily lives. As we work together for good, we really can make this world a better place for everyone.