Founded in 2011, the Average Joes (Team 3620) have come a long way. Starting with only around a dozen students and a handful of mentors, we were confined to only a small section of the industrial Technology wing. Since then, that area has been expanded to better fit our needs. We have around 40 students and about half as many mentors. Over the years, we have worked to encourage the growth of STEM in our community; we host a District Robotics Event at our high school which allows community members to see what robotics is first hand.
In our offseason, we enjoy working with our community by participating in various events. These events include Relay For Life, Berrien County Youth Fair, Maker Fair, and science fairs at the St. Joseph Elementary Schools. Some of the Average Joes mentor younger teams within the district. St. Joseph Public Schools is fortunate to have seven FLL teams and three FTC teams. Our offseason projects benefit not only our individual growth but also our school and community. Last year we were fortunate to receive a new building, the Edward J. Todd Innovation Center. This facility is used by all of the St. Joseph Robotics teams with full FTC and FRC fields. With this new area, we can practice, collaborate and build in our own environment.
Many Average Joes alumni utilize the skills they learned as a part of the team in their schooling and/or work. Scholarships help students with college expenses and internships help our students prepare for the work force. Many alumni are majoring in engineering and business areas at top colleges such as Notre Dame, Michigan Technological University, Kettering and University of Michigan: Engineering. We are not only proud of our alumni, but grateful that so many of them are giving back by mentoring robotics teams and/or volunteering at FIRST events.