The more we learn about the Engineering and Robotics Program at Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida, the more we like it. Russell DeSousa, Head Designer for Masquerade (FIRST Tech Challenge 4997) and a Senior Mentor for the Middleton Robotics Club, stopped by to give us the inside scoop.
Middleton's STEM Programs include Engineering, Biomedical, Game Design and Digital Electronics. The engineering program is structured with engineering design the first year, which transitions students from traditional learning methods and helps them adapt to the learning style offered in the program. Through the next two years, the students take Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Electronics and Principles of Engineering. Then in their senior year, they take Engineering Design & Development, which is a yearlong Capstone Project.
Russell feels that being involved in FIRST Robotics really enhances this curriculum because he can get out of an engineering class and put what he learns to practical use, sometimes almost immediately.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.