The mission of the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center is three-fold:
- To provide a training and talent pipeline for Science, Technology and Manufacturing careers in the Tampa Bay and Central Florida regions.
- To inspire young people to become STEM, Manufacturing and Industry leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor based, diverse and inclusive programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership,
- To act as the headquarters for a Central Florida FIRST Hub
The Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center benefits the immediate community by providing STEAM Education Excellence and Workforce Readiness through:
- Manufacturing training and solutions access and resources
- Improved STEM and STEAM education accessibility, inclusion and impact for area youth
- Practice and meeting space for FIRST robotics teams
- Public events, workshops and classes related to science, technology, and manufacturing
- Career and skilled technical education with certification opportunities in programming & manufacturing related fields
- Internship and employee pool of well-educated, experienced and trained youth & young adults
The Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center is a collaborative, cross program effort of several cooperative organizations and academic institutions, including the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, the project administrator, and other fine program partners, and includes:
- A workshop equipped with hand and power tools, drill press, bandsaw, mini-lathe, laser cutter, and more
- A full scale permanent FIRST Robotics Competition field for high school level, FIRST Tech Challenge field, for middle and high school programs and FIRST LEGO League playing tables for elementary and middle school programs as well as VEX robotics and drone program equipment
- Hardware and software to support K-12 STEAM education through:
- Professional Development for educators including Curriculum and Standards Alignment resources, training in Diversity and Inclusion in science, technology, and manufacturing education and more
- Programming, design and engineering classes and training for youth
- Kit and parts loans for teams and classrooms
The Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI) is a 501c3 not for profit organization dedicated to supporting academic achievement, economic development and the spirit of innovation through inspiring programs, active learning and exciting, innovative projects. FCDI facilitates fiscal sponsorship for FIRST youth robotics teams, and supports exciting hands on learning and living events like Gulf Coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s annual maker festival, and ROBOTICON Tampa Bay, an annual FIRST Showcase event at the USF Sun Dome. Visit FFCDI.org or contact Steve Willingham at Steve@FFCDI.org for more information.
The Eureka! Factory, a trademark of Willingham Associates LLC, is a collaborative of creative individuals and business partners who believe in the power of community driven innovation to help people move from passive consumption to empowered and active creation of their future and ours.