12-13-2016 Regular School Board Meeting
Agenda Item #48

Field Trip - Merritt Island FIRST Robotics Team 801 to Compete in FIRST Smoky Mountains Regional, Knoxville, TN, March 21-26, 2017.

Several students from Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High, Edgewood Jr/.Sr. High and Merritt Island High School are members of the FIRST Robotics Team 801 Horsepower. Approximately 16 to 20 team members and five chaperones plan to attend the FIRST Smoky Mountains Regional Competition in Knoxville, Tennessee.  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 county-approved private vehicles and will be staying at a FIRST authorized hotel closest to the event.

The team will leave from Merritt Island, FL around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21 and arrive at the hotel in Knoxville, TN around 7 p.m. that evening.  On Wednesday, March 22, the team will uncrate the robot, set up pits, and participate in practice matches at Thompson-Boling Arena.  Qualifying matches will be held on Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24. On the final day of the competition, March 25, qualifying matches and elimination matches will take place, followed by an awards ceremony and the closing ceremony in the afternoon.

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 $400 each, to cover gas, lodging and meals.  Robotic team members will have opportunities to offset their cost through various fundraisers, such as car washes and bucket drops. The robotics team will also  receive funding from business partners, including Jacobs Technology, NDEP, and Lockheed Martin. 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 four days of school.

Approve the request for the Merritt Island Robotics Team 801 Horsepower, to attend the FIRST Smoky Mountains Regional, Knoxville, TN on March 21 through March 26, 2017.

Meeting Date(s)
Information - 12/13/2016
Consent after Information1/24/2017

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. High School - 454-1030

Dr. Karyle Green, Principal, Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School, 783-1776

Leslie Leutbecker, FRC Liaison/FTC Head Mentor, 454-1030 x5050

Dr. Laura C. Rhinehart, Assistant Superintendent - x300

Attachment:  FIRST Rocky Mountains Regional Tentative Itinerary.pdf