Your interest in our organization flatters us. Our post is fairly new and we love to have new members drop in to check out what we’re all about. We meet almost every Thursday night from 5:30 to 7:30 at the University of Tulsa. If you would like to visit us, all we ask is that you Contact Us first so that we can know to expect visitors. And now, without further ado, let us tell you a little bit about what exactly it is that we do here at S.T.E.A.M. Post 26.
S.T.E.A.M. Post 26 was founded in the Spring of 2016 as a group of Boy Scouts from Troop 26 who were just finishing up their first year of FIRST Robotics together as Team #10355, or Eagle Factory Robotics. As the robotics season was winding down, these scouts with a passion for S.T.E.M., or S.T.E.A.M. as we now call it, organized themselves into an Explorer Post through the Boy Scouts of America and opened up membership to anyone interested in joining, male or female ages 10-21. Explorer Posts usually focus on a certain career field and help fuel young people’s interests in those specific areas; there are Posts that focus on Aviation, Business, Fire Service, Health, Law and Enforcement, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Creating a Post focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics was a perfect fit for the dream of creating an organization that could explore those fields and inspire and exercise young, creative minds. Our Post, rather than focusing on one very specific field of S.T.E.A.M., is on a mission to scratch the surface of as many aspects of S.T.E.A.M. as possible. At weekly meetings, we work on projects that are heavily technology-based (You can learn about our most recent projects, nicknamed project WEATHER_ROCK and project TOASTER, here). In addition, we have monthly meetings where we tour actual facilities of companies that embody sections of the S.T.E.A.M. field (Find out more about our past and future tours here). This combination of hands-on work and real-world company tours creates the perfect S.T.E.A.M. inspiration for youth, and not to mention, it is lots of fun.
The biggest problem with being an Explorer Post is the age limit. In order to join, you have to be between the ages of 14 and 21. Luckily, somebody thought of this and created a second organization classification within Exploring that includes younger ages known as a Club. And so, by creating S.T.E.A.M. Club 26, we are able to extend our membership to everyone ages 10 and up. For the most part, the Club gets to do everything the Post gets to do. They can come with us to tour industrial facilities and can help out in any way that they can with the Post projects. Additionally, members of the Post switch off in leading the Club in simple team building and engineering challenges to keep them occupied and to keep their creative juices flowing.
As mentioned above, S.T.E.A.M. Post 26 originally started out as a robotics team. The team began in the Fall of 2015 with ten members, seven youth and three adults. Under the name “Troop 26 Eagle Factory Robotics,” the team competed as part of FTC, which stands for FIRST Tech Challenge, a robotics program put on by FIRST. With a grant from FIRST, a donation from the Persimmon Group, and other private donations, the team was able to get on their feet and compete at the FTC regionals where they ranked 5th place overall and then went on to super-regionals where they ranked 13th. The Post is soon to be entering into their second year of robotics as a group and the first year of robotics under the organization structure of an Explorer Post. There are high hopes for this year’s team as well as plans to eventually expand into multiple teams in the coming years.
We have currently worked on two projects that we displayed at the Tulsa Mini Maker Faire (which is August 27 at the Fairgrounds). The two projects, as mentioned above, are nicknamed project WEATHER_ROCK and project TOASTER. We began work on both of these ideas as soon as the robotics season was over in Spring of 2015. You can read about the specifics of these two projects here. In the future, we have plans to work with drones, virtual reality, web and application programming, game design, and many other cool things. The Post has access to many resources such as the robotics and drone labs at the University of Tulsa. The members of the Post decide which projects they are most interested in spending their time on, then we get to work. From brainstorming to research, design to fabrication, we give everyone the tools to know how to fully design and create anything they can imagine.