For the past several years, we've been proud to partner with FCDI in Roboticon, one of the most popular K-12 robotics events in Florida. We've been in awe of what FCDI has accomplished in building a STEM culture in our community, supporting and celebrating young people who are destined to become the tech innovators and leaders of the future. What is most impressive about this organization is how much value they produce through creating networks in the community, bringing volunteers together, and connecting larger institutions to be part of their vision. They have successfully built a coalition to move our community forward and support kids with STEM talents in a way that creates lasting impact.
My 13-year-old son has always had a proclivity for technology, computers, machines, and inventing. I've struggled for years trying to find an environment in which he can thrive and make meaningful social connections. The first time we entered the AMRoC space, I felt like we finally found the right place. Everyone there has been so welcoming and has made us feel part of the team from the very beginning. My son is now part of a robotics team that will be working out of this space. For the first time, I have hope that he has found his tribe. I am so grateful!
As excited as I am for my son, I have also been blown away by all the other ways that FCDI and AMRoC are serving our community. They have brought new life to a shopping mall that was in decline. They are actively reaching out to the surrounding community, that is underserved in many ways. I have high hopes for the many ways this organization is bringing people together, building communities, and fostering creativity and innovation. I'm honored to be a part of this venture.
Still going strong. AMRoC is a big hit with the community.
FCDI has done it again. With the opening of their Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Center Fab Lab at the University Mall, they are serving a broad spectrum of our community, from the university crowd to the under served population in the area. Skills training, certification opportunities, small run manufacturing, and a host of other cool services can help our community become more productive and purpose oriented.
Walked in to FCDI's AMRoC Fab Lab facility in the University Square Mall (yep, in a Mall. Crazy, right!) and was blown away by the diversity and programming going on. Robotics, building and testing by high school students, people teaching computer programming, even some 3D printing going on. Wow!
FCDI is a great advocate for active learning and the spirit of innovation in the Tampa Bay Area. They host a variety of programs throughout the year including Roboticon. In addition they provide mentorship for robotics teams and promote a collaborative spirit among teams. FCDI, led by a board passionate in its mission, may have a small budget but has definitely made a big impact in the Tampa Bay Area.
FCDI has given High School robotics teams from across the Southeast, and mostly Florida, an opportunity to compete one last time using the robot we built for last season's game. FRC, FIRST Robotics Competition, and FTC, FIRST Tech Challenge, gives us an incredible incentive and understanding of how STEM subjects relate to the real world. And FCDI lets us experience the thrill of the game early in the school year, through an event called Roboticon, as we await the reveal of the next season't FRC game in January. We also get to see the university environment since they hold Roboticon at the University of South Florida in the Sun Dome. Thank you FCDI.
Our FIRST Tech Challenge team wouldn't be possible with FCDI. They provide fiscal sponsorship support, so donors in the community can give to our team through them. And they also mentor our team, now in its 11th season, and help connect us with resources and good educational experiences, so that our middle and high school student members can learn as much as possible about academic and career opportunities.
FCDI does great work in the community. Events like ROBOTICON & Gulf Coast MakerCon, both free to the public, do a terrific job of providing engaging community showcases integrating science and the arts, and inspiring people of all ages to learn and try new things. FCDI is collaborative and helpful, and great at connecting people with resources . I enjoy volunteering at FCDI events and am happy to express my support of this great organization.
I have had the pleasure of working with FCDI many times. My company, PLuGHiTz Live, has covered events produced by or supported by, this great organization, such as Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con and ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con provides an amazing opportunity for local artisans and other makers to interact with their local community. It also gives a way for others to gain inspiration for one another, either for their own arts or even to discover new fields they might be interested in.
ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is another favorite of my team, because it is the best place to see kids being passionate about education, science and technology. Over the years, I've been able to speak to students, coaches, sponsors and members of the public about their experiences at RTB, and everyone leaves the event inspired for themselves and the next generation of leaders.
I am immensely honored to have the opportunity to participate in programs with FCDI.
I love FCDI!! Terri Willingham introduced me to two FIRST Robotics teams in Pasco County. I was looking for a student to work with to teach manufacturing and machining as a pilot for the apprenticeship program over a year and a half ago, that was under development at the time.
Words cannot describe the impact these students have had on me, both Ryder and Vishal are the epitome of what the next generation should strive to be. What they learned while on the FIRST teams are things that cannot be taught at school. These students still blow my mind on a daily basis and gives me hope for the next generation.
Because of the relationship FCDI has with these students, I was able to easily identify the depth of talent inside each group and know, without a doubt, the time invested in these kids would never be in vein.
We love FCDI and hope more people can experience the potential of the next generation.
It has been an extreme honor to witness this with my own eyes! These kids truly are our future!
We first found out about the First Robotics program when my son was in the eighth grade. We were looking for different activities for him to see what he might be interested in. The robotics was a big hit for sure. Many of the people we first connected with for this program are the founders and creators of FCDI. Their vision and commitment to reaching and teaching young people to think outside of their normal school work activities helped my son to enjoy all of the processes. He learned to machine and build robots, program them for intricate tasks, strategize game elements and most importantly work as a valuable team member. I can't say enough about the impact this organization has had on our family and the friends that have evolved from being associated with them. If you are looking for a great experience for you and your family, I highly recommend contacting FCDI to learn more about what they do and how you can be a part of something special. Kirk Malone
I am truly inspired by the work performed by FCDI, it's volunteers and board members in the production of inspiring community educational events like Roboticon which they do over at the USF Sun Dome, and like the community creativity event they assist with called Gulf Coast MakerCon. FCDI has also helped our school's FRC robotics team obtain the resources needed to be successful in competition. They have helped our student team members learn computer coding and CAD design, all beneficial experiences that will be carried forth with them to the next phase of their academic or working lives after they graduate.
The Foundation for Community Driven Innovation’s dedication to supporting academic achievement, economic development, and the spirit of innovation is greatly needed in the Tampa Bay.
FCDI has several outstanding programs and events including: STEAM TEAM - fiscal sponsorship for K-12 STEAM education teams that don’t have access to a nonprofit or school support, AMRoC - Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center, Gulf Coast Make & Comic Con, and ROBOTICON Tampa Bay.
FCDI, a community based resource, truly supports spreading awareness of STEM and support local FIRST Robotics teams. Through the amazing event, ROBOTICON, FRC teams are able to relive the previous season's game. This extremely well organized event allows students to experience the excitement of a robotics competition on a full-sized playing field. In addition to ROBOTICON, FCDI partners with local engineers and companies to provide FRC teams with technical and financial support.
Team 79 Krunch appreciates FCDI!
With a big mission and on a small budget, FCDI with its all volunteer board and strong collaborative spirit, continues to maximize community impact in the Tampa Bay area, helping direct the investment of over $100,000 in the last six months into area youth and workforce development programs and projects. In addition to growing the ROBOTICON Tampa Bay event, which draws 3000 people annually to this high energy STEAM education showcase at the University of South Florida Sun Dome Arena, FCDI is developing a precedent setting facility called the Tampa Bay Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Center to serve K-20+ with academic and career pipeline opportunities. We look forward to continue doing great work with our amazing partners, and improving academic and economic outcomes for youth throughout Tampa Bay and Florida!
One of the most exciting and effective programs FCDI helps organize is ROBOTICON Tampa Bay, a youth STEAM education showcase, where students on FIRST K-12 robotics teams can come together to practice, build, and learn about college and career opportunities from partner organizations like the University of South Florida, and SolidProfessor. FCDI also provides fiscal support for area FIRST teams, and helps produce Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con, all programs and experiences that help engage and empower people to be makers of their own futures. With more than 80% of funds going into programs, FCDI is a great community resource with proven impact. I'm happy to give the nonprofit my highest endorsement.
FCDI has gone to great lengths to make the most exciting student robotics event in the Tampa Bay Area (see ROBOTICON.net) a remarkable success. They've worked hard to make sure all teams wanting to compete get to do so, and that the logistics and details associated with the event are being handled. They work closely with their partners and event volunteers to help bring the best possible results to the University of South Florida, the FIRST Robotics programs, and the students they serve.
Additionally, FCDI has worked behind the scene to help student teams that were applying for grants receive the contributions they were seeking by partricipating as their fiscal sponsor. FCDI works on a shoe-string internal budget while putting forth monumental efforts by their volunteers and board members to provide these benefits their community
FCDI through the Doolittle Institute graciously supported Torque Team FRC 5283. This is the F.I.R.S.T. FRC robotics team at King High in Tampa Florida. Not only did Torque receive monetary support, a group of engineers from FCDI came out to the school and volunteered with my students. They offered insightful advice and act as role models for the students. The team appreciated their time and ideas. Hopefully we can get more mentors (hint, hint) as we kick off the new school year and a brand new challenge in January.
Working with FCDI has been a joy. FCDI has helped our area robotics teams as well as participated in the production of Gulf Coast MakerCon which celebrates and encourages creativity in our youth and society as a whole!
Our robotics program (one FRC and two FTC teams) budget is funded through student dues (about 50%), small grants (about 15-20%), and the balance through the school (an arrangement made since students are not, by policy, allowed to fundraise or seek sponsorships from companies in the community. We try never to turn any student away from the club simply because of dues, which have been $200 for the year. This grant was specifically allocated to cover a well deserving student's dues, enabling the student to join, learn from great mentors and peers, participate in the robot's design, build and competition events.