REX started as a team in the fall of 2005 . Immediately that year team 1727 played a key role in starting the Baltimore Area Alliance (BAA) which has remained an influential force in the area, adopting the name change of the Maryland Robotics Alliance to reflect the role of District Robotics. The original BAA created a training day for new team members, an offseason event held every fall, and coordinated support for new teams.
Rex has always been very active in the off season. As a NASA house team we demonstrated our robot at every event possible and even setup a mock competition at the NASA display in Baltimore called “America’s place in Space.” We demonstrated everywhere from the National Mall in Washington DC to the opening of the movie “Wall-E” in Timonium MD. We displayed at state fairs and small restaurants, and exposed people to FIRST robotics at any chance we could. We were able to assist new teams in many ways. One team from Loch Raven HS joined us at our work location to build their robot. That year their robot was very successful. We even obtained a monetary sponsorship for them from JC Penney Stores.
We were also very active in summer camps during our initial years. We hosted summer camps for middle school aged children in robotics every summer. We generally held 2 camps of 30 kids each for a week at a time. During the robotics summer camp we would expose the kids to FIRST robotics, creating interest in different areas of the county and across Maryland. We were able to keep the cost low due to our sponsorship and partnership with Johns Hopkins University Engineering program.
During the 2009/2010 school year we expanded our program to include VEX Robotics and created a huge Baltimore County program. In just a few years the number of teams in Baltimore County went from 2 teams to sixty teams. We created this massive participation in VEX robotics by hosting free events and partnering with the school system to insure that beginning teams would get free robotics kits and free entry into at least one competition.