The following report was submitted by Desh Bagley, owner of TechPlayzone in Riverview.
As Florida State legislators discuss how to encourage more students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, the STEAM Alliance of Tampa has partnered to show students how exciting science, technology, engineering, art, and math can be.
The alliance recently learned about the Energy Elites, a FIRST LEGO League team of eighth-graders filled with future scientists and inventors. This group of young men demonstrate exactly what the alliance knows to be true: When students are motivated, the sky is the limit.
The FIRST LEGO League competition season began with 430 teams in Florida seeking solutions to food contamination and programming robots to gain as many points as possible in 2.5 minutes.
By February 4th, 150 teams had advanced to regional competitions throughout the state with 48 teams hoping to move on to the state championship in Melbourne.
At the Tampa FIRST LEGO League Regional Competition, held at the University Area Development Center, 32 teams gathered from Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties along with two international teams, hoping to garner one of the ten slots allotted for the State Championship.
The Energy Elites FLL Team is a community team that practices at TechPlayzone in Riverview. Not only will the team advance to the state championship, but they were also awarded the Championship Award. This award is given to the team with the best overall robot performance score, research presentation, technical design, and teamwork skills. The eighth graders are excited to let you know that they made Hillsborough County proud.
Regional Champion Team Members:
- Darrian Bagley — Burns Middle School, Brandon
- Graham Peterson — Immanuel Lutheran School, Brandon
- Michael Schutte — Randall Middle School, Lithia
- Daniel Brown — Stewart Middle Magnet School, Tampa
- Joshua LeGrande — Mann Middle School, Brandon (Related Ccoverage: Whiz Kid at FIRST LEGO League Tournament Talks About Science, Building, Writing Creating and More)
The Energy Elites FLL Robotics team worked tirelessly to design and program their NXT Mindstorms Robot to get as many points as possible. They diligently sought out experts and went on field trips to gather research about fish contamination.
They developed an innovative solution to improve bio-filtration for fish farmers. And most important, they worked as a team throughout the season showing respect, professionalism, and graciousness.
The team will continue practicing for the next two weeks as they prepare for the Feb. 26 state championship, at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
These future scientists, engineers, and innovators that will solve some of our nations most important problems.
For the past three seasons, the Energy Elites have hosted a FIRST Lego League Qualifying competition for local teams. (Related Coverage Local Views: Photos of the FIRST LEGO League Challenge at HCC at The Regent.)
For more information about FIRST LEGO LEAGUE and forming school teams, please visit: www.usfirst.org/fll
For more information about how FLL works in Florida, please visit: www.flrobotics.org.
For questions or comments, please call Desh Bagley, Coach and Tournament Director, at 813-453-8612