02-14-2017 School Board Meeting
Agenda Item #17

Field Trip - Merritt Island FIRST Robotics to Attend FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas, April 18 - 23, 2017


Students from Merritt Island High School, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School, and Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School are members of the FIRST Robotics Team 801 Horsepower. Approximately 8-12 team members and five (5) chaperones plan to attend the FIRST Championship in Houston, TX.  The five male and female adult chaperones have been fingerprinted and cleared by the district.  The chaperones serve in the following capacities:

  • a current BPS employee,
  • a pastor for 1st Presbyterian Church New Smyrna Beach,
  • a project engineer manager/mentor with Lockheed Martin,
  • a materials and processes engineer for ERC Inc., and 
  • a physical scientist with NASA.

The team will travel by airline, approved rental vans, and hotel shuttle services and will be staying at a FIRST authorized hotel closest to the event. Students will eat at the hotel, nearby restaurants or at event concessions.

The group will leave from Merritt Island, FL around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18 and for OIA and fly to Houston, TX. On April 19 the team  will go to the George R. Brown Convention Center to uncrate the robot, set up pits, and participate in practice matches. The robotics group plans to visit colleges that evening.

On April 20 the team will report to the George R. Brown Convention Center for the Opening Ceremony, practices and qualifying matches.  Qualifying matches will also occur on April 21 and April 22, followed by elimination matches, an Award Ceremony and Closing Ceremony on the afternoon of April 22.

The robotic team will leave Houston by airline and will arrive back in Merritt Island on Sunday, April 23 at approximately 8:00 p.m.

The fees for team registration, a robot kit of parts, and event participation will be approximately $4,000-$5,000. Over the past few years, the district has committed to allocate $6,000 (through rebates from GovConnection to the district) to each high school robotic team to offset registration fees for competitions and various other costs. In addition, students will have out of pocket expenses totaling approximately $450 each, to cover travel, lodging and meals.  Robotic team members will have opportunities to offset their cost through various fundraisers. Costs are kept down by sharing accommodations and eating free breakfasts at the hotel.  There will be no additional cost to the district other than the $6,000 allocated to the FIRST Robotics Team 801 Horsepower.

The students will miss three days of school.

Approve the request for the Merritt Island High School Robotics Team 801 Horsepower to attend the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas on April 18 through April 23, 2017.

Meeting Date(s)
Information - 1/24/2017
Consent after Information2/14/2017

Authority for Action
Procedures and Criteria for Field Trips

Involves Expenditure of Funds Directly in the Classroom

Source of Funding
Other Sources

Cost Center


Mollie Vega, Principal, Merritt Island, High School - 454-1000

Jackie Ingratta, Principal, Edgewood Jr/Sr - 454-1030

Dr. Karyle Green, Principal, Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr. High School

Leslie Leutbecker, Robotics Liaison, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High - 454-1030

Attachment:  FIRST Championship - Houston, TX - Merritt Island Robotics Team 801 - Horsepower.pdf