Club History

Middleton High School (MHS) established a FIRST Robotics Competition Team in 2004. Team 1369 developed its name that paid homage to its original founders. The team used the first letter “M” from the high school and linked it with the mascot of its initial educational partner, the University of South Florida (mascot Bulls). This combination resulted in name MINOTAUR. As the club grew from 1 team to multiple teams in subsequent years, each team chose a name that begins with the original “M.” The robotics program was established to provide an educational opportunity for students to challenge them to solve real world problems. As the only STEM Magnet High School for Hillsborough County, FL, the school believed that FIRST provided the right program for its students to excel in their individual strengths and expose them to real world educational and career opportunities. FIRST provided the opportunity to teach students valuable life skills and nurture their passions for science and technology, while practicing Gracious Professionalism.

FIRST Robotics Competition. Minotaur competed at the Peachtree Regional its first year and was on the winning alliance. The team has qualified for the World Championships in 2004, 2005, and 2007. The team experienced some difficulties with the loss of several mentors and students and its results in the lean years was less than desired. Due to last minute financial difficulties, the team did not compete during the 2011 season. With the addition of new adult mentors and ever increasing parental and business sponsorships, Minotaur has experienced a growth in performance and has a steady upward trend. In 2015, Minotaur was on the Finalist Alliance of the Georgia Southern Classic Regional and in 2016, won the Palmetto Regional. Minotaur qualified for and competed at the World Championship in 2015, 2016, 2017. Minotaur is positioned to once again compete at the highest levels. Throughout its existence, Minotaur has always prided itself on its community involvement.

 FIRST Technical Challenge. Due the popularity of robotics and the increasing number of students interested, Middleton organized teams to compete in the FIRST Technical Challenge program in 2006. This required an influx of new adult mentors. The FTC program grew to 3 competitive teams and have been successful at tournaments with wins and awards. The high point of Middleton’s FTC program was in 2012 season, Bowled Over, when FTC 4997 Masquerade was on the winning alliance at the World Championship. Middleton now fields two FTC teams and continues to achieve success.

VEX. The VEX program was started at Middleton in 2010 as an lower cost alternative for students. The program grew to a high of 3 teams in 2015 but has reduced to 1 competitive team primarily due to loss of mentors. Team Mercury continues to grow in success.

We are proud of our history.  We have a strong tradition of competing at a high level in FIRST and VEX while also being a model team in showing “gracious professionalism” as we compete.  We have mentored many teams. These teams and others in the FIRST community look to the Middleton as a model robotics program.  We continually strive to uphold that model for how a high school robotics program should be organized and how they should compete.

The robotics program has grown since from the 15 students and adults in 2004 to more than 150 students, adults, and corporate partners ion 2017. The popularity of the club has increased each year to the point where there is now a waiting list of students who want to attend Middleton High School. This competitive nature of students has meant the school’s magnet programs have flourished and are now recognized as one of the top programs in the country.

Middleton is proud to be the only high school in western Florida and one of a few schools in the state to offer students the opportunity to earn a Varsity letter in robotics. Robotics students at Middleton are held on the same pedestal as the other sports teams.

The current Middleton team is led by a great group of adult mentors from the business and education communities.  The success and stability of the teams is a direct result of the strong partnership between Middleton, business partners, and to the dedication of mentors, sponsors, and students.

Awards

Middleton robotics has been very successful at competitions winning several awards and recognition.

AwardCount
FIRST Championship Appearances14
World Championship Winning Alliance1
World Championship Finalist Alliance1
State Championship Winning Alliance7
State Championship Finalist Alliance5
State Championship Inspire Award1
Deans List Semifinalist5
Deans List Finalist4
Winning Alliance36
Finalist Alliance14
1st Place Robot Performance7
Amaze Award1
Best Mascot Award1
Boca Bearings Community Outreach Award1
Connect Award3
Creativity Award2
Inspire Award8
Judges Award1
Motivate Award2
Promote Award0
PTC Desgin Award5
Quality Award1
Robot Bling Award1
Rockwell Collins Innovate Award8
Safety Hard Hat Award1
Safety Star of the Day2
Think Award6