Join TDT member, Joel, on a short narrative tour of Middleton Madness, courtesy of our team vlogger, Ryder.
Organizers estimated 14000 visitors to the USF Engineering Expo over the past two days, making for standing room only
in the FIRST robotics room many times! Today, the crowds were a little thinner, but pretty much nonstop all day long. There’s clearly tremendous interest in STEM opportunities for youth, and our FIRST brochures flew off the tables.
We shared the exhibit room with State Champions, Minotaur, and their Middleton companion team, Ayonius Tyfonas, along with Domino Effect, from St. Petersburg, and ran demo matches and info sessions from 9am until the event ended at 4pm.
Our robot proved as robust as ever, managing the toughest of all challenges, being driven by young children! Everyone had a great time, though, and hopefully we’ll see some new FLL and FTC teams develop in the Tampa Bay area over the next year.
Driving our robot was the biggest treat, and children lined up for a chance to use the controller. It was definitely a full weekend, but one well spent, and all four FTC teams went home with honorable mention awards from the University of South Florida for our well enjoyed Expo exhibit.
TDT programmers enjoyed the hospitality of Middleton High School teams, Minotaur and Aionios Tyfonas (Eye-oh-Knee-Us Tie Fo Nus, they tell us!), who kindly shared their practice room so that we could better fine tune autonomous programs. In the
final analysis, their autonomous programs are still much better than ours, but the Middleton teams are great fun to spend time with and their coach and mentors were very kind and helpful to TDT students. They even stayed after their own practice time ended to encourage and cheer our programmers efforts to succeed on a particularly difficult program. (We didn’t succeed, but can honestly say we had fun trying with such a supportive crowd!)
Minotaur and Aionious Tyfonas are definitely Gracious Professionals, teams we know are fierce competitors on the field, and great friends in the pit.
Thank you very much, Minotaur and Ainios Tyfonas, for your warm hospitality, support and help. You’re two great teams we look forward to competing and allying with at the Florida FTC State Championship this Saturday! And also to eating pizza and going on tours of Embry Riddle with!
Here’s to the true spirit of FIRST, which we fully enjoyed and appreciated while working in the friendly company of those with whom we not only compete, but also share the common goal of helping create young, achievement oriented professionals of high integrity. In short – just the kind of able-minded, technically and scientifically skilled, respectful, and compassionate people we need for a better future. for all of us!