News & Updates on Regional Robotics Competition

Last month we brought you a story about local/regional robotics competitions and team wins. We have a couple more updates about the teams and new wins that bare mention in this edition.

The robotics team, the Vibots, at McLane Middle School in Tampa did an excellent job this season at the VEX

robotics competitions. According to Michael Wilson, VEX team coach, McLane hosted the largest VEX robotics state championship qualifying event in Tampa Bay. Over 42 teams from Florida competed in two divisions for a chance to earn a spot at the state championship. The McLane Vibots battled against some of the top high school teams in Florida and won both the tournament championships as well as the excellence awards. Two teams from McLane qualified for the VEX state championship with one team advancing to the semifinals. The Vex teams also competed at the Technology Student Association (TSA) state conference and qualified for the TSA National Conference that will be held in Texas later this summer, and will also be competing at the Energy Whiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center in May. Wilson states that school has planned a number of STEM activities and “looks forward to partnering with FLATE” on some of these projects. For more information email Michael Wilson at MichaelE.Wilson@sdhc.k12.fl.us.
                                    
Another team that scored big at the VEX competition was the Trinity Dragons from Trinity Homeschool Academy. The high school students, comprising of two teams, from Trinity participated at the world championship last year, and
will be competing again this month in Louisville, KY. “These students strive for excellence and are genuinely excited in furthering their robotics education” said Tonya Walters, principal of Trinity Homeschool Academy.
Given their commitment, the team has garnered several wins this past year which include among many others the State Programming Skills Award, State Spirit Award, Central Florida Skyrise Tournament Champions & Create Award, VEX VRC State Qualifier Excellence and Robot Skills Award at Lakewood Ranch, and the Greater Tampa VEX League Tournament Champion and Excellence Award. The two teams also tied first and third place for the robot skills state competitions, received a special commendation from Commissioner Al Higginbotham, and were featured on the local CBS news. You can read the news story at  http://www.wtsp.com/story/tech/2015/02/16/lutz-teens-build-robot-sun-dome-competition/23504195. You can also visit the school website at http://www.trinityhomeschoolacademy.com/home.html, or contact Tonya Walters at rtonya@earthlink.net.

The FRC 1369 Minotaur Team at Middleton High School was awarded an at-large bid to the World
Championship in St. Louis. "This is the first time in eight years that FRC has attended the World Championship” said Rich Berglund, robotics coach at Middleton High School. Bergland states, because of everyone’s diligent work this season, Middleton has decided to accept the bid and compete at the Championship in St. Louis from April 21-26. For more information contact Rich Bergland, head coach of the FRC 1369 Minotaur Robotics team at roboticscoach@gmail.com.