The Exploring program is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America open to both boys and girls from grade 7 through age 20. The name comes from the focus on career exploration. Posts are usually devoted to a particular career field, such as firefighting, police work, medicine, piloting, etc., and are sponsored by an organization with expertise in that field.
Explorer Post 2829 is sponsored by Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech) in Fort Wayne, and is devoted to engineering in general, with particular emphasis on robotics. The Post was founded in 1995. The advisor is Dr. Rex Joyner, Professor of Physics at Indiana Tech.
Post 2829’s year begins with a recruitment meeting (called a First Nighter) on August 25th, followed by bi-weekly meetings throughout the school year. The prime focus is to prepare entries for the National Robotics Challenge (NRC), a three-day event held in April in Marion, Ohio. Since 1996 we have brought home over 100 Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards from the NRC and its predecessor competition. After the end of the school year, official meetings end and then resume again at the end of August, but there are occasional summer projects.
At meetings, members have the opportunity to work on whatever projects they are interested in. For first-year members, robot kits are provided along with lessons on building and programming the robots. For second year and beyond, members are free to explore pretty much anything they like, keeping in mind the goal of taking entries to the major competition. In addition to the regular meetings, there are other non-robotics activities. There are movie nights a couple times a year, and occasional outings for things such as paintball, laser tag, or go carts.
The Post tries to keep costs as low as possible for its members. We do not want anyone to feel they cannot participate due to lack of money. Money is generally available to help buy parts, and scholarship money is available to help in attending the National Robotics Challenge.