At most FIRST events, you only get to see a single league, but at ROBOTICON Tampa Bay we get the opportunity to interact with everyone from FIRST LEGO League Jr. to FIRST Robotics Competition. We took advantage of the opportunity to speak with team members from FIRST LEGO League team 24334, the IncrediBotz. The team is made up of a group of friends who live in the same neighborhood who came together as a team after experiencing an outreach event.
These kids provide a very different perspective on FIRST for several reasons. First, as a rookie team last season, the team made it to the World Championship in Houston. They got to experience the height of the organization in their initial year, getting to see teams from across the country, but also some they knew from the State Championship. Some of the teams they met at the championship they still keep in contact with after the competition.
Second, their younger age provides a unique view of the other leagues. While students in FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition are used to 3D printing parts and cutting metal, the FIRST LEGO League teams are more used to LEGO bricks. Getting to see the materials of the next levels, as well as the physical size and scale of the machines, gets the students excited about continuing their FIRST journey.
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.