The Eureka! Factory has been chugging full STEAM ahead since Maker Faire Orlando, with more great projects and programs coming off the creative conveyor over the next few days.
- 20 FIRST Robotics Competition teams
- 26 FRC robots
- 12 FIRST Tech Challenge teams
- 850+ FIRST students and over 500 walk in visitors
- 50 volunteers
- VIP Luncheon for 60
- 10 Workshops provided by business and tech professionals
- $1000+ in Boca Bearings awards to the first ROBOTICON Challenge award winners
- Media coverage in ABC Action News, Tampa Tribune, Tampa Bay Times , F5 Live and the Minaret Online
- Our first ever Young Women in Tech Mentoring session, organized by the Florida Chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications was very well received and will become a regular part of our annual event.
ROBOTICON Tampa Bay 2014 was everything we could have hoped and more, and is clearly on its way to becoming a signature Tampa Bay event, bringing together the professional tech and entrepreneurial community and FIRST STEM education in a powerful and far reaching way that benefits the business community and students.
On Monday, we led a staff development program for 80 librarians with the Pasco County Library System, introducing them to some maker style programming with Squishy Circuits, FIRST robotics, LEGO Mindstorms kits and creative team building. It’s fun and exciting to see the kinds of innovative twists people put on these active content development ideas, when given the freedom to create and explore. When tiny little LEDs plugged into homemade dough light up, minds light up, too, and suddenly the sky’s the limit – which is exactly the point of what we’re doing: showing people the power of active and limitless creation, to change lives and create opportunities.
This weekend, we head to the St. Petersburg Science Festival, with Squishy Circuits, recycled instruments, and paper flyers, to show more kids and more adults the power of curiosity driven learning and the importance of wonder and interest in the world around us to make our collective future brighter and better for all of us.
It’s a simple message, conveyed playfully, with robots or clay or paper, through games and competitions. But it’s an empowering message that says that each of us can make, create, repair, invent, understand and bring order to our world in our own useful, enduring and helpful ways.
And that’s a Eureka! moment that everyone should experience.