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.
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 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.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Minotaur competed at the Peachtree Regional its first year and was on the winning alliance. The team then 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 Tech Challenge (FTC). Due to the popularity of robotics and the increasing number of students interested, Middleton organized an additional team to supplement it’s FRC team. The program available at the time was the FIRST VEX Challenge (FVC) and thus FVC Team 1369 Minotaur was formed and competed in its inaugural season, Hanging A Round. In 2007 FIRST VEX Challenge was renamed FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC).
For the 2009-2010 season, Middleton added a second team based on increasing popularity. FTC 3846 Aionos Tyfonos formed and competed in its inaugural season Hot Shot! Middleton expanded again in 2009 with the addition of FTC 4997 Masquerade, who took their name using the original “M” concept. This required an influx of new adult mentors. The original FTC team took the same team number and name as it’s FRC founding team, so FTC 1369 Minotaur was born.
Team 3846 Aionios Tyfonos was formed during the 2009-2010 season as a direct result of the growth of the Middleton Robotics program. The team took their name from the Greek words for “eternal hurricane” being that hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida. At the time, the team members felt that 10 members was the correct number for one team. At the same time, we were unwilling to turn away new members. The Robotics Club therefore decided to split into two FTC teams. The veteran team kept the team name and number, FTC 1369 Minotaur. At the time, there were five members who decided to form a rookie team and thereby Aionios Tyfonos was born and competed in its inaugural season, Hot Shot! In 2012, FTC 3846 changed its name to Maelstrom and changed its primary color from black/silver to blue/silver.
In 2010 due to continued popularity and growth in the robotics program, a 3rd FTC team was formed. FTC 4997 Masquerade joined the club in the 2010-2011 season to bring the total to 3 competitive FTC teams. These teams 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.
In 2015 Middleton decided to reduce the number of competitive teams due to a lack of adult mentorship. Falling victim to this down sizing was FTC 1369 Minotaur. 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 and Team 6260 Indecisive competed in its inaugural season, Round Up. In the 2012-2013 school year, Middleton added an additional VEX team and thus 6260B Theseus competed in its inaugural season, Sack Attack. The program grew to a high of 3 teams in 2014-2015, Skyrise with the addition of Team 6260M Masquerade. Following that year, however, the number of teams was reduced to 1 competitive team (VEX 6260) primarily due to loss of mentors. In the 2015-2016 season, the team took the name Minos. For the 2016-2017 season, the team again changed it’s name to Mercury. 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 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.
Middleton robotics has been very successful at competitions winning several awards and recognition.
|FIRST Championship Appearances||14|
|World Championship Winning Alliance||1|
|World Championship Finalist Alliance||1|
|State Championship Winning Alliance||7|
|State Championship Finalist Alliance||5|
|State Championship Inspire Award||1|
|Deans List Semifinalist||5|
|Deans List Finalist||4|
|1st Place Robot Performance||7|
|Best Mascot Award||1|
|Boca Bearings Community Outreach Award||1|
|PTC Desgin Award||5|
|Robot Bling Award||1|
|Rockwell Collins Innovate Award||8|
|Safety Hard Hat Award||1|
|Safety Star of the Day||2|
|Gracious Professionalism Award||2|
|VEX Design Award||1|
Past Club Leadership