Starting in 2015, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) in Florida has been divided up into five separate regions, managed by Affiliate Partners in each area. FIRST is pleased to announce the first of these new partners, Ms. Desh Bagley, with Hillsborough Community College for West Central Florida, and Mr. Michael Schweim, of Polk State College, for East Central Florida.
Here’s a closer look at each Partner. Please join us in welcoming them to our FIRST Family of Programs! Look for news of the rest of our new partners soon.
West Central Florida Region
Hillsborough Community College, already committed to K-12 educational initiatives, found that taking on the FIRST LEGO League Affiliate Partnership for the Florida – Central – West Coast Region a natural next step. Under the direction of Sabrina S. Peacock, M.A., Dean of Business and Technologies, the FLL program will join robust enrichment experiences like the 2015 FLATE Summer Robotic Camps program, accommodating middle and high school students in June and July. Hillsborough Community College is a comprehensive community college located in Tampa, FL. HCC serves over 47,000 students annually at its five campuses and three centers. The college offers more than 160 academic degree and certificate programs.
Hillsborough Community College has named Desh Bagley as the FLL Partner for the region. Desh serves as the Outreach Manager for FLATE, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated at the Hillsborough Community College, Brandon Campus. Through FLATE’s outreach initiatives for advanced manufacturing, Desh has been able to coordinate middle school robotics camps, which use the LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 platform. Desh has been a long-time FIRST® LEGO® League coach and tournament director. She has operated pre-qualifying (scrimmage) and qualifying tournaments for the past five years while coaching for the past eight years. Desh brings experience and passion to the FLL Partner leadership position for the new FLL Florida – Central – West Coast Region.
East Central Florida Region
Under the direction of Dr. Naomi Boyer, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives/CIO of Polk State College, the FIRST LEGO League program will join robust enrichment experiences like the TALON Robotics Summer program, a compressed robotics camp experience, accommodating 240 students this past June. Polk State College serves 24,000 students, 17,099 of whom are seeking degrees, at their two campuses, Lakeland and Winter Haven. Polk State is involved in many partnerships with the local school district including support for the Academies, dual enrollment, and other pathway programs.
Polk State has named Michael Schweim as the FLL Partner for the region. Michael is an eighth grade science educator at Rochelle School of the Arts in the Polk County School District and long-time FIRST® LEGO® League coach and tournament director. He ran the regional tournament (2nd tier qualifying tournament) at Polk State and served on the planning committee for the FIRST LEGO League World Invitational Open 2012 – “Robots in Paradise,” hosted by the University of South Florida Polytechnic on May 3 – 6, 2012. Michael has experience and passion, and in concert with Polk State College, he plans to bring that same energy and commitment to the new FLL Florida – Central – East Region.
You can contact Michael Schweim at MSchweim@polk.edu
For questions about FIRST LEGO League in regions without identified partners yet, please contact FLLTeams@usfirst.org . You can now also follow FIRST LEGO League in Florida on the Florida FLL Facebook and Twitter pages!