Robotics class, drone team visit Florida Polytechnic


Students from the advanced robotics class and the Whirly Girl drone team visited Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland to discuss college preparation and to tour the state’s only completely STEM-based university last Wednesday.

“I’m always looking for opportunities that I can give to my robotics students in order for them to see how the STEM classes they are taking at school relate to the real world,” robotics teacher Jill Whitacre said. “My hope is that students might be inspired to continue pursuing their studies in STEM.”

The students can now apply their new knowledge in classes.

“We can take the information we learn in robotics class and use it in deciding what we want to do with our life,” Bonnie R. (8) said. “The college field trip gave us options.”

This trip may have opened new possibilities for students.

“Robotics involves programming and electronics so it is part of STEM,” Nishna P. (8) said. “Visiting a college with STEM majors was something people could look at if they enjoyed robotics and wanted to do something STEM-related.”

A presentation given by Associate Director of Admissions Michelle Powell expressed an important message.

“I heard a new understanding that it is never too early to start thinking about college,” Whitacre said. “You can’t wait until your junior year in high school to become the type of student colleges are going to want at their school.”

Florida Polytechnic University charges $5,000 a year for tuition or $20,000 for a four-year degree.

“I learned that it was one of the most affordable colleges in Florida,” Bonnie said.

Some students may not even consider applying to Florida Polytechnic University but they might have learned something along the way.

“Even the students who would not include Florida Polytechnic in their possible college plans realized that it is never too early to start thinking about college,” Whitacre said. “And that every year counts.”

By Abby Hedrick

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools policy prohibits the inclusion of middle-schoolers’ last names on district-sponsored websites.