Successful Robotics Open House sparks student interest in STEM

On Thursday, April 13 FLATE hosted a Robotics Open House as way to celebrate National Robotics Week, which took place April 8-16. The open house featured a number of activities and stations geared to spark students and parents’ interest in robotics, STEM, and manufacturing related career pathways. The event lasted from about 3-6 p.m., and approximately 97 people (including hosts and visitors) attended the open house.

The open house featured eight stations. Two local schools, McLane Middle School and
Middleton High School, showed demonstrations of some robots they created and use in competitions. Hillsborough Community College engineering technology students displayed a robotic arm, 3D printer, and an electric car. FLATE staff created a presentation that featured a NAO humanoid robot. FIRST LEGO League prepared a display table that featured hands on activities.

Additionally, there were several industry and educational partners from our Tampa Bay community that provided resources. Special thanks to these organizations for aiding in the success of FLATE’s Robotics Open House: FIRST, FIRST LEGO League Robotics, HCC Engineering Society, McLane Middle School, Middleton High School, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at University of South Florida (USF), and USF Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The goal of the Robotics Open House was to excite students and interest them and the community in STEM related educational and career pathways. The FLATE team seemed to achieve this goal, since attendees were very pleased with the evening. Several members from the FLATE team received high praise for organizing the event. 

“It was great learning what degrees and programs are available, and how to pursue education and experience in these fields,” one participant stated. 

“The best part of the open house were the interactive displays and friendly presenters,” said another visitor. 

Additionally, one lucky student attendee won a FREE week of FLATE summer camps! Congratulations to Aidan from Stowers Elementary School, we can’t wait to see you next month! To enroll your middle or high schooler in FLATE summer camps, please visit FLATE’s 2017 Robotics Camps webpage here and contact Janice Mukhia at

 Attached below is an infographic that highlights some interesting data points and comments. All information on the infographic was obtained from a survey that was completed by attendees of the open house. As noted on the infographic, the favorite stations were the demonstrations by McClane Middle School and Middleton High School, followed by the NAO Humanoid Robot and FIRST Lego League.

Click here to see FLATE’s online album of photos from the Robotics Open House! 

For more information about FLATE’s events, please contact Janice Mukhia, FLATE’s Project and Outreach Manager, at, or Dr. Marilyn Barger, FLATE’s Executive Director, at

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