2017 Houston FIRST in FL Championship Roundup

So many team members from Florida we couldn’t get them all into the photo!

Over 15,000 students, ages 6-18, from nearly 700 teams from 33 countries participated in FIRST Championship Houston, including over 40 Florida teams across all programs – more than 500 students from around the state! The four-day event, attended by nearly 30,000 people, wrapped up with FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition finals matches before a packed Minute Maid Park stadium.   Over 60 volunteers from Florida also participated in the event, helping us Make it Loud for FIRST and for the Sunshine State!  (At least another half dozen Florida volunteers also helped out at the St. Louis Championship! )

Thanks to all our great FIRST in Florida program partners for supporting our amazing Florida teams, and providing the great summary report that follows.


Team Blessing Beasts, of Tampa, with Central FL Regional Director, Terri Willingham

Six FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams from Florida participated in the Houston Championship, and all brought home recognition.

  • Explosive Ideas Award –  Team 6007, Blessing Beasts, Tampa
  • Rising Stars Award – Team 521, Master Builders, Jacksonville
  • Terrific Thinkers Award – Team 8898, Gemini Jetstars – Stinger Swords, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
  • Simply Awesome Machine Award – Team 4336, Awesome LEGO Bots, Valrico, Fla. and to Team 4323, B.E.E.s, Titusville, Fla.
  • Amazing Movement Award – Team 9072, BollesBots, Jacksonville, Fla.


Florida FIRST LEGO League Tazbots teams giving public encore project presentation in Houston.

Eight Florida FIRST LEGO League teams attended the Championship, and over 30 FIRST LEGO League volunteers from Florida traveled to Houston to help out.  We’re super proud to announce that Florida’s Rich Berglund (below) won the FIRST LEGO League Solid as a Rock Volunteer of the Year Award, and volunteers from the entire state of Florida won the FIRST LEGO League Teamwork Award for our outstanding collaboration, volunteerism, and enthusiastic support of FIRST LEGO League in our state. All of the FIRST LEGO League Partners volunteered at the World Festival in Houston and received certificates.

  • Florida FIRST LEGO League Team 16664, Technical Trojans Black from Jacksonville, FL brought home the Teamwork Award from the Championship!

Click image to see FIRST in Florida Championship photos

FIRST Tech Challenge

Tampa’s FIRST Tech Challenge team KNO3 celebrates a win during finals matches at Houston Championship.

The FIRST Tech Challenge program has an additional level of competition between State and FIRST Championship called the South Super Regional. Florida had 13 teams attend the South Super Regional in Athens, GA March 23-25.  We almost had an all Florida team finals with 4 of 6 teams in the finals alliances representing Florida. The following is the Florida team award and robot winners:

  • Inspire Award Winner: 4717 Mechromancers. Oviedo
  • Winning Alliance: Captain 4717 Mechromancers and 7203 KNO3, Tampa
  • Finalist Alliance: Captain 7477 Super 7, Orlando and 8908 Robo Mojo, Punta Gorda
  • Control Award Winner: 7477 Super 7
  • PTC Design Award Finalist: 4717 Mechromancers
  • Connect Award Finalist: 7477 Super 7

Five teams that earned spots in Houston:

  • 4717 Mechromancers
  • 7203 KNO3
  • 7477 Super 7
  • 8908 Robo Mojo
  • 10345 Royal Blue

It was a fantastic event and we set a new Florida record of 4 teams being selected to participate in the Alliance rounds (4717, 7293, 7477, and 10345). The following were the Florida award and robot winners:

  • Teams 4717 Mechromancers and 7203 were again on the same alliance team as the Finalist Alliance Winners and the Jemison Division Winning Alliance.
  • Franklin Division Finalist Alliance – 7477 Super 7
  • Connect Award Finalist – 8908 Robo Mojo
  • PTC Design Award Finalist – 4717 Mechromancers

FIRST Robotics Competition

Orlando’s 4H Team FIRST Robotics Competition team, 1902, Exploding Bacon, wins Chairman’s Award Finalist at Houston Championship.

Florida sent 23 FIRST Robotics Competition teams to Houston, to compete in a field of 400 teams. The competition was tough but Florida came home with some awards, and an overall great showing. Kudos to all the teams that made it to Houston, and congratulations to the following award winners.

  • Subdivision Finalists: In Newton: Team 180, S.P.A.M., Stuart, Fla.
  • Creativity Award: Carver-Newton Division: Team 5842, Royal Robotics, New Port Richey, Fla. &
  • Galileo-Roebling Division: Team 86, Team Resistance, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Team Spirit Award sponsored by FCA Foundation – Carver-Newton Division: Team 180, S.P.A.M., Stuart, Fla.
  • FIRST Championship Chairman’s Finalist award – 4-H Exploding Bacon Robotics from Central Florida became one of the top six Chairman’s teams in the world. Winning the finalist award earned Exploding Bacon an invitation to attend the 2018 FIRST World Championship. We’re so proud of all our amazing teams, and can’t wait to do it all over again!

North Florida FIRST Senior Mentor, Andy Milluzzi, recognized as FSM of the Quarter.

Additionally, North Florida FIRST Senior Mentor Andy Milluzzi was recognized as FIRST Senior Mentor of the Quarter! 

Read more about the Houston Championship here  and keep your eye on our website and social media for education, training, camps, outreach and other team opportunities throughout the summer.

It was a great year for FIRST in Florida, and next season will be even better!  Registration opens in May – so keep your eye on the FIRSTInspires.org website and

Go Teams!


About JT Yoerger

FIRST® in Florida Website Administrator/CPS and Sr. Manager, Events and Marketing for for FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. in Central Florida -- Email: JT@CentralFloridaRobotics.org.
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