Off-Season Events for the 2017-18 Season!

The Florida Off Season Season is upon us!  This year, due to challenges in securing venues and event dates, each off-season is managing its own registration, and costs will remain the same across the board:

$200 per FIRST Robotics Competition team, plus $75 for an extra robot

Confirmed events so far are:

  • ROBOTICON Tampa Bay at the University of South Florida Sun Dome Arena on October 7 & 8  and
  • Mission Mayhem in Ft. Lauderdale, at Dillard High School on October 21 & 22

Panther Prowl in Melbourne may be held at a later date, and a new off-season event in Jacksonville will be announcing a date soon.

As always, ROBOTICON will also include cross-program events for FIRST LEGO League Jr, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams.  Please visit and to learn more about each event, and to sign up for either or both off-seasons, and Go Teams!

Posted in FIRST events, FIRST in Florida Websites, FLL, FLL Jr., FRC, FTC, Off-Season, Outreach

A Personal Note from Your Central Florida Regional Director

Selfie with a few hundred of my favorite FIRST peeps – Florida FIRST teams at the 2017 Houston Championship.

I wrap up my time as Regional Director in Central Florida today, June 30, closing the door on five awesome years of working in an official FIRST capacity with teams, coaches, volunteers and mentors across Central Florida and the state.  It’s been a joy, a privilege and an honor and  I wanted to send along my best wishes to all of you.

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Posted in FIRST Championship, FIRST Resources, FIRST Robotics Competition, FLL, FLL Jr., FRC, FTC, Off-Season | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

FIRST in Florida Spotlight: Meet Your Florida FIRST Senior Mentors

Florida FIRST State Operating Committee members with FIRST Founder Dean Kamen,  at FIRST Community Conference in Nashua, June 2017

Florida has an amazing field crew supporting FIRST programs statewide.  That crew includes countless volunteers, FIRST program partners in FIRST LEGO League Jr, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge, Regional Directors supporting FIRST Robotics Competition and program partners, and frontline AmeriCorps VISTA and FIRST Senior Mentors, who we’re highlighting here today.

FIRST Senior Mentors (FSMs)  are funded and directed by FIRST headquarters to serve all four FIRST Programs, working with Regional Directors and Program Partners to recruit, support, and expand FIRST in their local areas.  In Florida, we’re fortunate to have three amazing FSMs:

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Posted in FIRST Resources, FIRST Robotics Competition, FLL, FLL Jr., FRC, FTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Help Us Make FIRST in Florida Better!

Help us make FIRST in Florida better! The survey will remain open through May 31st!

Over the last few years we’ve been building out our statewide support for FIRST K-12 programming. In addition to two Regional Directors principally charged with supporting FIRST Robotics Competition and the Regionals (Orlando and South Florida) as well as tasked with supporting partners, FIRST Senior Mentors and FIRST VISTAs, and programs throughout their areas, the state of Florida also has program partners for FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr..

As our program support network has grown, we want to ensure we’re providing the most effective support for teams, coaches, volunteers and mentors – our Customers! To that end, we’d like to ask you to please complete our FIRST in Florida Customer Satisfaction Survey to give us an idea of how we’re doing, what we could do better, and any ideas or insights you have for FIRST in Florida, to help us continue broadening our impact and outreach, and continuing to make FIRST fun and rewarding for everyone.

The survey will remain open until May 31, 2017, and anyone participating in FIRST programs, at any level and in any capacity is welcome and invited to provide feedback.  All feedback will be thoroughly reviewed and seriously considered, shared with the State Operating Committee for all our programs, and acted on wherever possible.  We’ll also follow up directly with any respondents who indicate on the survey that they would like to speak in person.

Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your thoughts with FIRST in Florida.




Posted in FIRST events, FIRST in Florida Websites, FLL, FLL Jr., FRC, FTC, Orlando Regional, South Florida Regional | Tagged , , , , ,

A FIRST in FL Story: Meet Alexa Baires-Jovel

Alexa , 2nd from right, with team mates, coaches and, in the center, Ira Flatow, host of Science Friday.

FIRST in Florida Stories is a new occasional series we’ll be running here, to showcase some of our amazing youth and the impact that FIRST has had on their lives, and that they have had on ours.   We’re delighted to feature Alexa Baires-Jovel, a high school senior from Pine Hills, Florida, and co-team captain and public relations lead for Rock Star Robotics, in the Walt Disney Branch Boys and Girls Club FIRST program.

This past season she participated on both the Club’s FIRST Tech Challenge team, and their FIRST Robotics Competition team, where she was the primary driver.   At the Orlando Regional FIRST Robotics Competition event in March, Rock Star Robotics earned the Rookie Inspiration Award.

This spring, Alexa was part of the Science Friday live show at the Bob Carr Theater in Orlando, where she shared part of her story.   Unfortunately, Science Friday did not air our live FIRST segment, so we’re very happy to share Alexa’s full story here, along with her PLuGHiTz Live Radio interview from the Orlando Regional in March.

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Posted in FIRST in the News, FIRST Robotics Competition, FLL, FRC, FTC, Orlando Regional | Tagged , , , , , ,