Spring Sizzles with Local/Regional STEM Events

Spring is rife with STEM and robotics competitions for middle and high school students across the state. The competitions serve as hotspots for developing students’ interest and love for STEM and robotics, and also gives them a chance to work in teams and develop soft skills that are equally important in the current marketplace. Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE says the competitions serve as launch pads for students to develop and test their skills as they prepare for STEM based, and hopefully manufacturing related careers of the future. Barger notes, robotics, automated systems and their control are more and more important in the manufacturing industry. Students that get hooked on robotics can get good high wage jobs with the right training and education like the engineering technology programs at our Florida State and Community Colleges. Through the years FLATE has actively supported local/regional teams in various capacities to ensure as many students that want to get to participate.

Outlined below are a snapshot of upcoming events:

Season Kick Off
Organizational Overview
January 7
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST is an international youth organization, founded in 1989 that operates robotics competitions nationally and internationally. FIRST Robotics (FRC), is FIRST’s premiere robotics program for high school students
May 2017-18: May

Kick-off: September

FIRST Tech Challenge, FTC, is designed for students grades 7–12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots in a 10-week build period to compete in an alliance format against other teams. 

Florida FTC Teams: http://ftc.flfirst.org
Season underway
FIRST® LEGO® League, one of four STEM-learning programs from FIRST®, immerses kids in real-world science and technology challenges. Teams of kids ages 9 to 14 are challenged to design their own solution to current scientific problems, then build LEGO® robots that perform autonomous "missions." In the process, they develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities in science and technology. They even discover that they, too, can make positive contributions to society.

or email:
Desh Bagley dbagley5@hccfl.edu
FLL Junior League
Showcase discoveries at the Trinkle Center on January 28, and at LEGO Land on May 20, 2017.
FIRST LEGO League (FLL) junior program for kids K-4th

April 24
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student to excel. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations and for further education. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
Technology Student Association is a national, non-profit organization of middle and high school students who are engaged in STEM. Almost 4,000,000 student members have participated through challenging competitions, leadership opportunities and community service.
Regional Science & STEM Fairs
Ongoing throughout Spring

The State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida is a three-day display of science project exhibits prepared by aspiring scientists and engineers in grades six through twelve. More than 900 Finalists display projects illustrating their research in competition of awards.

In addition to the regional/statewide robotics competitions, FLATE will also be hosting six robotics camps for middle and high school students this year. Details on dates and registration will be posted on the FLATE summer camps website, and also highlighted in a subsequent story in this edition of the FLATE Focus. For more information on the camps email Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org and Janice Mukhia, Outreach/Project Manager at mukhia@fl-ate.org