The mission of ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is to provide FIRST K-12 Robotics teams with a high-quality, post-season competitive event that provides opportunities for pre-season skill building, networking, and college and career readiness experiences. The event also provides a fun and unique way for the general public to enjoy this “Sport for the Mind” and see and enjoy the hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics that FIRST offers. Teams from around Florida and the nation are invited to join in the fun and learning each October in Tampa!
ROBOTICON annually draws over 1200 youth and visitors, and is expected to be bigger than ever this year, at our new location at the University of South Florida Sun Dome Arena.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST® K-12 STEM education programs use robot challenges to build science and technology skills and interests, in a character driven program that also inspires self-confidence, leadership, and life skills . In Florida, FIRST serves over 10,000 students. At the high school level, nearly $30 million in scholarships are available to participating students.
- FIRST Robotics Competition off-season competition – 9-12th grade
- FIRST Tech Challenge scrimmage and build day – 7th -12th grade
- FIRST LEGO League practice and training – 4th – 7th grade
- FIRST LEGO League Jr. mini-Expo – K-4th grade
- Workshops for all programs, provided by teams, alumni, business and tech professionals
- STEAM Educators Conference & Workshops
- Young Women in STEM Conference
- ROBOTICON Challenge Awards
- Innovation Fair with college and career exhibits
ROBOTICON is free and open to the public (reserve general public tickets here), with only modest registration fees ranging from free for early elementary FIRST teams to $100-$150 for high school teams, for the two day event. ROBOTICON is 90% volunteer produced. Expenses include:
- Venue rental and associated costs
- FIRST Robotics Competition Field Rental
- Stipends for Field Technical Assistants and other key volunteers
- Catering for volunteer and guest meals for 2 days
- Snacks & Refreshments for volunteers for 2 days
- Volunteer shirts
- Trophies for teams
- Printing for programs, workshop materials and signage
Corporate and individual sponsorships and donations help defray event production costs and keep registration costs down for teams. Sponsorship opportunities begin at $250 and include in-kind and other special support opportunities.
Proceeds after event production costs benefit area FIRST teams and the Orlando Regional FIRST Robotics Competition event, held each spring at the University of Central Florida.