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First Inspires Robotics

2680 West County Road 476
Bushnell, Florida 33513

Press Release

From: Colleen Strickland, Curriculum Supervisor

Date: March 14, 2017

Subject: First Inspires Robotics


Ready, Set, Robots!   Robo Raiders and Raider Creators are two new robotics teams in the Sumter County Schools for the 2016-2017 school year.   Students at South Sumter High School participated in First Inspires First Tech Challenge and students at South Sumter Middle School participated in First Inspires First Lego League.   Both challenges had a kick off in August and culminated with district qualifiers leading to state championships in March.   First Inspires challenges immerse students in real-world science and technology challenges.   Teams design their own solution to a current scientific question or problem and build autonomous robots that perform a series of missions.   Through their participation, students develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning that they can make a positive contribution to society.


South Sumter Middle School’s team, Raider Creators, had a very successful season being recognized for Gracious Professionalism, a core value of First Inspires, twice and earning a First Place for Best Scientific Research.   During the season the team was tasked with creating an invention to improve human and animal interactions along with coding several LEGO EV3 robotic missions to the theme of Animal Allies.   Their season culminated with a First Place for Gracious Professionalism at the Central Florida Robotics Championship. They are ranked in the top 24% of Central Florida teams. Robotics has been integrated into the new STEM Adventures course curriculum at South Sumter Middle School allowing even more students access to this integrated learning experience.  Team Coaches were Kevin Strickland and Michelle Alberto. 


South Sumter High School’s team, Robo Raiders, participated in the First Tech Challenge, a head- to-head robotics challenge, using a sports model.   The team was responsible for designing, building and programming their robot to compete on a field in an alliance format against other teams.   The robot was built using the TETRIX platform and JAVA programming language. The team participated in two competitions and had a great time learning about robotics in the process. The team was coached by Eunice Cilente and sponsored by Take Stock in Children.


Robotics is a great opportunity for students to design, build and program robots, apply real-world math and science concepts and develop problem solving, organizational and team building skills.  


Pictures included:

Raider Creators-Levi Warren exudes excitement when his robot completes the challenge

excited student in front of the robot  

Raider Creators 3- Back Row: James Sellers, Jason Strickland, Vartori Bellamy, Cody Farr,Alexus Rogers, Michelle Alberto (Coach), Sadie Van Hooijdonk, Briar Rogers, Kevin Strickland (Coach) Bottom: Levi Warren, Francisco Foley

Group of studens and coaches with trophy

HS First Tech Challenge- Eunice Cilenti (Coach) Joseph Cilenti, Jonah Cilenti, Wyatt Shaw, Ashton Durham, Heather Cowart and Veronica Gonzalez

High School First Tech Challenge team picture  

HS Challenge playing field and robots

 Robotics course with High School Students and the judge