Florida Prep Adds Robotics Team to Extracurricular Activities, Receives ‘First Tech Challenge Grant Award’
By Jeanette Middleton, Florida Prep Communications // March 13, 2019
coached by Dr. Xifan Liu and Ms. Scarlet Martin
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – As our world becomes increasingly dependent on technology and our job force continues to be STEAM heavy, our curriculum needs to adapt.
As educators, it is our job to set our students up for success in an ever-changing and expanding world. For this reason, Florida Prep has added Robotics to our list of extracurricular activities for our students.
In an article on why we should teach robotics in schools, Matthew Lynch says, “Not only does teaching students robotics teach them how to persist and solve problems, but it also helps them increase their maturity levels and prepare them for real-world situations.”
Florida Prep is home to our very own Robotics Team, coached by Dr. Xifan Liu and Ms. Scarlet Martin. Our team currently consists of nine students in grades 9th -12th, who each play a vital role in the design and functionality of their robots.
For 21 weeks, this group of students spent approximately eight hours a week outside of the regular school day to learn about building and operating robots in order to compete with other school teams.
The inaugural team included Insar Magadeev (12th grade), Ryan Mangra (10th grade), Jessie Rebeix (10th grade), Daniel Rubenstein (9th grade), Yunxiang Wang (10th grade), Hanyu Zhang (10th grade), Khali Thaggard (11th grade), Amara Thaggard (9th grade) and Julian Waller (9th grade).
Space Coast Robotics League Championship
Over the course of the season, our team sacrificed five of their Saturdays in order to travel and meet with other robotics teams in Florida.
After competing in three in-season tournaments during their inaugural year, Florida Prep Robotics traveled to Oviedo, Florida to compete in the Space Coast Robotics League Championship.
Out of the 24 teams competing they were able to take home 14th place despite a software problem in the first two rounds.
Co-captain Ryan Mangra says of this result “Given that we started in 18th place, it was a good step up, which we all were grateful for. We hope to come back again next year.”
The Florida Prep Robotic Team was honored to receive the “First Tech Challenge Grant Award” sponsored by Florida Power & Light in the amount of $750.
Additionally, after being nominated and interviewed, our own Ryan Mangra was selected to be a FIRST Dean’s List Semi-Finalist. He will go on to compete for a spot as a FIRST Dean’s List Finalist.
This award, sponsored by the Kamen family, is used to recognize the leadership and dedication of the top FIRST Tech Challenge students.
All of us at Florida Prep are very proud of the dedication and perseverance our robotics team has shown this past season. Having only been the first year of the team, we have a lot to look forward to from this group of students.
For more information, call 321-723-3211, extension 30040 or visit flprep.com
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