July 2015 Newsletter

July 9, 2015

Middleton Magnet High School Robotics Club Newsletter
edition 2015, volume 01

1. New Robotics Club Leadership
2. Adult Committees
3. Finances
4. Upcoming Fundraisers
5. Outreach
6. Robotics Club Parents Meeting
7. Communication

We’ve said goodbye to our graduates as they prepare for their future. Our club was very successful in our goals as our 8 Seniors qualified for over $1.5M in scholarship money in addition to several joining the ranks of our armed Forces. We wish them great luck and success in everything they attempt.

The summer vacation is almost half over and our robotics family have been very busy with demonstrations, fundraisers, camps, and recruitment. Some even decided to get away from it all and travel to foreign countries. Before long, we’ll be back in school and the robotics seasons will be upon us.

1. The Parents/Students Meeting on May 15 provided everyone with an update on the Middleton Robotics Club . First is the change in Club Leadership. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Rich Berglund, current FRC Head Coach and now Middleton Robotics Senior Mentor. This coming season will be my 12th in FIRST Robotics and 5th in Middleton Robotics. As I said at the meeting, my goal is to make Middleton Robotics one of the premiere robotics programs in Florida and the U.S. We have the students and continue to recruit more adults. We still need more. If you feel like helping out, please let me know. I have posted a copy of the brief on my Google Drive . You will also find other important documents there.

Our new Club President is Alex Dimartino. Vice Presidents are Alex Stein and Surya Balaji. Team Captains are Andrew Butt (FRC), Varun Madabushi (FTC Maelstrom), Kyle Coker (FTC Masquerade), and Dimitry Podobreev (Vex). We are still discussing the total number of team for next year. We want to make sure we can provide the same quality experience to all students. Each team requires lots of resources. Our new leadership team is excited about the future of the club.
The new leadership team has help several meetings and is eager to make Middleton Robotics a powerhouse in Florida and U.S. There will be changes in club operations. As we develop the policies and procedures, I will disseminate that information.

2. Adult Committees. We are looking for parents to step up and help out with Club administration. These are not full time positions and your expertise is needed. We are currently seeking members for the Fundraising Committee and the Outreach Committee which will seek out community outreach opportunities that the club can undertake to give back to the community. I’m also looking for an adult Safety Mentor to work with the Robotics Club Safety Council. If you would like to help with one of these committees, please email me:

3. Finances. As you know, it takes a great deal of money to make sure the Club runs effectively. Last year every program did not meet their expenses. Fortunately we were able to cover costs with previous budget surplus most from Title I money. That money is no longer available and we need to be more financial responsible in the coming years. Teams will have to make difficult decisions regarding purchases and/or competing. The key is developing a workable budget and then developing a fundraising plan to satisfy that budget.

Each team will identify a minimum of 1 parent to serve on the Club Fundraising Committee. Their responsibility is to research fundraising opportunities and also to deconflict corporate sponsor solicitation. Our goal next year to solicit a majority (60-70%) of our revenue through corporate sponsorship and grants. If you would like to serve on this committee, please send an email to me or Jeff Butt (coralreef1996@gmail.com).
Our club members are located across Hillsborough County. It makes sense to spread our fundraisers across the county as well. Any parent can organize a fundraiser. We will advertise across the club for helpers and organizers receive extra credit for setting up the fundraiser. The robots will be at coach’s houses over the summer and will be making the rounds to Outreach and fundraisers. If you want to have a robot at your fundraiser, contact me.
In August we will begin a massive written corporate sponsorship campaign. We are currently compiling a database of companies that we will send sponsorship letters to. The list has over 100 companies and continues to grow. If you have a specific company that we should recruit, please send all information to Rich Berglund for inclusion in database.

4. Upcoming Fundraisers:
Sam’s Club Lunch. FRC is organizing two Lunches at Sam’s Club in Riverview. These have been profitable in past as people donate after seeing robots. The dates are July 11 and August 15, 9am-2pm. Students can get credit for working and/or donating supplies. If you want to work, send me an email. If you can’t attend but still want credit and want to donate supplies, the signup forms are at:

July 11 www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4baca62ba0f94-sams4

August 15 www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0C4BACA62BA0F94-sams5

Garage Sale. FRC is holding a Garage Sale, Aug 21-22 in Bloomingdale subdivision, Valrico. These have been successful in the past. Students can receive credit for working the event and/or by donating items for sale. If you have items to donate, we will begin collecting in early August (since my garage is almost full already). For more information or to help out, please contact Rich Berglund (roboticscoach@gmail.com)

5 One of the great things about FIRST (and Vex) is that the program is really “more than just robots.” We are here to inspire our students to excel in whatever they want to do beyond high school. It is also imperative that we all understand that giving back is just as good, if not better, than winning. Trophies are nice and great to win, but in the end, it is the type of young adults and good citizens we mold at Middleton that will spell success for our Club. Outreach is how we give back to the community. It also helps us by getting our name out in the community, helps with our award submissions, and is a great recruiting tool – outreach to the business community also recruits new sponsors. Each student is required to participate in at least 3 Outreach events to be on the travel team. Last year we participated in 27 events, so it will not be difficult. These outreach events take place during the summer as well. Our robot is already scheduled for at least 2 summer camp visits, 1 school visit, and 1-2 corporate sponsor visits. We will post upcoming outreach opportunities on the website, calendar (working) and in the newsletter. Upcoming Outreach include:

Aug 6 – West Chase Rec Center Summer Camp
TBD – Southern Manufacturing technology corporate visit
Sept 3 – Band-Aid Drive for St Joseph’s Childrens Hospital
Sept 19 – Hillsborough County Water Cleanup and Robotics Club Picnic (details TBD)

6. Robotics Student/Parents meeting. Our first students/parents meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 3 at 6:00 – 8:00pm in MHS auditorium. As you know this will be a very popular event and many people will be in attendance. The goal for the meeting is to explain the program and teams, introduce leadership, and answer questions.
This year we will be doing something different. In keeping with our Outreach goals, we’re asking everyone who attends to bring in a box (or more) of children’s band-aids. These are the cartoon (i.e Scooby do, hello kitty, etc) that you can find at dollar store. We will collect them and give them to the nurses at St Joseph’s Childrens Hospital. They in turn use them to provide as smile on a kid that is hurting. I’m working on getting a representative from the hospital to be at the meeting to accept the gifts. This is not a mandatory activity, but highly encouraged – I’d like to see our boxes overfilled!!

7. Communication. A major goal for the upcoming season is better communication up down and lateral. The first step is to communicate with your team leads (coach and team captain). If they send out a request – respond. If you have a question – ask. We are working on making the website more useful. We intend to make the newsletter more useful for everyone.

One of the tools we used in FRC last year was “Remind” text messaging. This tool allowed the coach to send out global texts (to include pictures) to the team for rapid communication. It proved to be effective as students tend to read text messages. It is also a quick way to distribute important critical changes. Therefore we are establishing an account for the club. This is mandatory for students and optional for parents. I have included signup instructions in the Google Drive. To signup, simply text the phrase @mhsrobotcl to the number 81010.

We have been adding important items to the calendar that is currently published on the FRC website. You can view the calendar at http://www.frc1369minotaur.com/?page_id=46 If you would like to add anything to the calendar, email Rich Berglund
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. I’m looking forward to a new year and another opportunity to really inspire our students to greater things as the new robotics seasons begin. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to volunteer and help out, please contact your team captain and/or coach or you can contact me Rich Berglund, roboticscoach@gmail.com

Hello Middleton Robotics Families,It has been another fruitful year for Middleton Robotics.  We have had successes as well as learning challenges.  The most important thing however, is that the students were inspired to do their very best.  A big shout out goes to Mr. Mead, Mrs. Gerena, Mrs. Freriks and the rest of the MHS Administration for their continued support.  If you see one of them in the hall, please thank them for their support.

This newsletter will cover the following items:
1.  Club Student/Parent Meeting
2.  Student Leadership Applications
3.  Adult Leadership Meeting
4.  Fundraising During the Summer
5.  Adult Fundraising Committee
​6.  Slide the City Fundraiser

1.  Club Student/Parent Meeting
As this season winds down and we transition into next season, we want to take the opportunity to have one last Student/Parent meeting.  The meeting is scheduled to address club activities both past year and future changes.  The meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 15, 2015 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Middleton H.S. Media Center. We don’t expect for the meeting to last the entire time, but have reserved the time slot for questions.

2. Student Leadership Applications
It’s time for new student leaders to step up and provide mentorship for the teams. If you would like to be a Team Captain or Club President, you must apply for that role.  Leadership Applications have been sent to the Coaches for distribution to their respective teams.  Download and print from here, or you can request one from Rich Berglund at roboticscoach@gmail.com.

Completed applications must be submitted by the deadline, Tuesday May 12th, at 3:00pm.  Submit your completed application to Mrs. Freriks or Mr. Mead.

3.  Adult Leadership Meeting
The next Adult Leadership meeting will be Tuesday, May 12 at 6:00pm in Room 308.  Purpose is to discuss student leadership applications and also club changes.  Teams may also invite their Assistant Coaches or Adult Leaders.  For any other adult in the club who has been thinking about helping out with one of the teams, you are welcome.  We need adult mentors!  If we do not have mentors for the teams, we will not have teams for the students.  If you have questions, please contact Rich Berglund at roboticscoach@gmail.com

4.  Fundraising During the Summer
As you know, running the robotics program is not cheap.  Despite several fundraisers, some students did not meet their fundraising goals. This places an extra burden on those who are contributing.  Fundraising is a year round activity and the summertime (i.e. car wash, garage sale, etc.) is a good time to hold some events.  If you would like to coordinate an event, start planning.  Send Rich Berglund an email at roboticscoach@gmail.com so we can get it published to club.  Students who organize an event, receive extra credit towards their goals.

​​5.  Adult Fundraising Committee
We are establishing a Club Fundraising Committee.  Each team is required to have at least one representative on the committee. If you would like to serve on this important committee, please email Rich Berglund at roboticscoach@gmail.com ASAP.We need your help!  We are trying to get a head start on next year’s fundraising goals with activities over the summer as well as develop and solicit corporate sponsors.

6.  Slide the City Fundraiser
We have a unique fundraising opportunity that we will again co-work with Boy Scout Troop #109.  Money raised at this event will go directly towards next year’s fundraising goal.  Seniors who have graduated can designate their earnings to any student in the club. The “Slide the City” (www.slidethecity.com) is coming to Tampa on Sunday, June 21st.   If you have never been to slide the city it is AWESOME.  The event is looking for volunteers (who they will pay) to work the event.

This opportunity is open to adults 18+ and youth 16+.  There are up to 100 slots available for the day, but space are limited so it will be first come first serve.  One person, per time slot.  Slide the City is paying $30 per time slot per person.  If you work one time slot that is $30.  If you want to sign up all day that is $120.  If you get 4 people to work one shift, that is $120.  This is a great opportunity for students, parents, relatives, & friends. It’s that easy.  We will also be given a code that you get people to sign up for the event you will be given a portion of that as well.

Time slots:  (each have unique number requirements).  You may sign-up for multiple shifts to multiply earnings.

6:00AM – 10:00AM Morning Shift (set-up)
9:30AM – 2:30PM Mid-Day Shift (Slide Monitors; Registration Tent)
2:00PM – 7:00PM Afternoon Shift (Slide Monitors, Registration Tent, Tent Breakdown, Initiate Slide Clean Up)
5:00PM – 9:00PM Evening Shift (Event Clean-up)

Again, volunteer slots are limited.  Once slots are filled, that’s it.  If you want to work, please send an email ASAP to Rich Berglund, FRC Coach at roboticscoach@gmail.com.  Please indicate time slot(s) desired and the student to credit.

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Congratulations Masquerade 4th Place World Championship!

April 25, 2015

Great job Masquerade and thanks to alliance captain Tesla 5026 and partner BoBots 5916!

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Robotics Teams headed to 2015 World Championship!

April 15, 2015

Congratulations to FTC 4997 Masquerade and FRC 1369 Minotaur for earning a bid to the 2014-15 World Championship April 22-25!

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Masquerade FTC 4997 has earned a bid to the 2015 World Championship!

March 20, 2015

Congratulations to Masquerade FTC for their outstanding performance at the FTC South Super Regional in San Antonio. They have earned a bid to the World Championship in April 2015. We need your help to get them there. Please consider making a tax deductible donation online.

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FTC South Super Regional Event Info

February 19, 2015

Please see this Event Packet published by FIRST for information about the area, schedule, transportation, etc.

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Parent Meeting for Masquerade 2/19

February 18, 2015

Congratulations to Masquerade FTC 2nd Place Florida State Championship! Congrats also to Masquerade VEX for qualifying for the VEX State Championship. Parents meeting this Thursday 2/19 at 6 pm to discuss the traveling events that are coming up for both Masquerade teams, FTC 4997 to San Antonio and VEX 6260M to Omaha or Kentucky depending […]

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FTC State Championship is Saturday, Feb 14

February 13, 2015

Opening ceremonies at 10:00 A.M. Live streaming of tournament at http://www.flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/Stream.html

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Masquerade scores 727 points!

January 10, 2015

I think Masquerade just set a new World record for the season!

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FTC and VEX Updates

January 7, 2015

FTC Saturday 1/10/15 – League Championship at St Leo’s. Saturday 2/14/15 – State Championship at St Leo’s. Information on St Leo’s can be found on this page: http://flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/Florida_Championship.html South Super-Regional in San Antonio TX March 11th-13th. More details can be found here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/super-regionals World Championship in Stl Louis MO April 22nd – 25th. More details […]

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