One of the most exciting parts of ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is the way it brings together some of the best volunteers and staff within the FIRST community from all over the state of Florida. One of those wonderful people in attendance in 2018 was Stacey Jones, the Affiliate Partner for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. in South Florida. Stacey has been involved with FIRST for over 20 years in a variety of roles. Stacey is such an important part of the Florida community that she won the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award at FIRST Championship in Detroit.
As the Affiliate Partner, Stacey is responsible for scheduling and planning all of the events for both FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr., including tournaments and research presentations. She also makes sure that everyone involved, such as coaches and judges, get the training they need to be successful in their roles. Most importantly, she is responsible for making sure that everyone experiences calm events and a smooth season. Fortunately, FIRST provides a host of resources to help her with those goals, which also provide an opportunity to try for a consistent experience, whether students are in South Florida or Los Angeles.
This season, the South Florida group has been lucky to attract some new sponsors who are just as excited about FIRST as Stacey is. One partnership is with Netflix, particularly with the reboot of the 90s series Reboot. The new version of the series, Reboot: The Guardian Code, addresses a more modern version of the computer - not focusing on the struggles of an old mainframe, but instead on the interconnectivity of the internet. A few students are chosen to help defect the internet, including with the help of the original animated cast. In addition, she has been working with INFENTO, who produces a modular system for ridable robotics.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
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.