WE’RE BACK!!!! Join Us…

Well, it’s probably no surprise to our friends, fans, and family– FTC Team Brick Buddies is returning for the 2014-2015 season!  Some teams didn’t even know we took the year off, considering we still volunteered for FTC and conducted Hardware Inspection at League Meets.  It was great, that everyone said how much they missed us and wanted to see us come back. It motivated our decision to return.



Our kids were never far from their roots, still doing robotics, still hosting our annual FLL competition. Although, the break enabled our team members to hone new skills: Some learned CAD (finally), some started high school and we’re able to become involved in other activities (remember we were middle schoolers!) and one of our kids took the time to get a perfect score on the Math section of the SAT.  And for Jon and I, we can’t say, it wasn’t so terrible having some free weekends with our respective families. So, in all, it’s been time well spent.  But, FIRST is a family and we missed it.  The kids missed being together.  They missed building a robot.  And, when THE KIDS say they wanna build a robot, that’s when it’s time to put back on the team shirt!

This season, we’re also accepting applications for a few new team members.  We’re a Community Robotics team.  We’re looking for high school students, ages 14 and up.  We’re looking for students who are interested in Programming (C+) or Building skills or have experience working with tools or something else you feel might be a great asset to a competitive robotics team.  We typically practice on Sundays.  If you are an FLL kid, aging out, or maybe you were on an FTC school team and you are unable to stay after school for their meetings, and a weekend team would work better, let us know.  Interested students should fill out an  FTCapplication and email it to kappelers@yahoo.com.  If you have questions, please contact us.  Can’t wait to see everyone at this season’s Kick Off!


Time For SUPER JR. 2013

Brick Buddies has been busy this week.  After catching our breath from a great Workshop Day for our area FLL teams, we’ve switched gears to our younger FIRST fans in Jr. First LEGO League.  We’ve started hosting a very unique Jr. FLL Expo and this season, we’ve gone big time and are working with LEGOLAND, Florida.  We’ve now opened registration for Super Jr. 2013 which will be held on Sunday, February 10th.  Details can be found under the Super Jr 2013. tab.  If you are a Jr. FLL Team in Florida, we hope to see you in February!  

FLL Senior Solutions Challenge Released!!

Hey FLL friends.  Several coaches have asked where the Robot Game video is posted.  If you went on the FIRST website today, there is a FLL informational video posted and then Scott Evan’s video explaining the game is linked halfway down the page.  It looks to be a great season.  Don’t forget to read the Mission and Game Rules!  Here is a link.  

Middleton Madness Tournament

Well, we survived our first FTC Tournament.  We had a fantastic day!  Both the team and robot performed great– way beyond our expectations.  Everyone from tournament officials, to the Refs, to the Florida Director of FTC kept saying how impressed they were with how well the kids were working together in the Pit and Driving on the Field.  FTC is a great program!  The matches are exciting and challenging and chaotic.  You’re up; you’re down!  You’re against one team, one round and alliances five minutes later!  It’s quite a roller coaster. I am proud of how our kids handled themselves their first time out!  We also learned, we still have a lot to learn.  We’re novices at strategy and scoring.  We had no idea what QP and Ranking Points were or their importance.  We lacked scouting skills and really didn’t think we’d need to utilize them until we found ourselves an Alliance Captain in our very first tournament.  Can’t possibly know everything in one go-round!  And couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  What a great day day!

Team Brick Buddies wins PTC Design Award


Last Saturday, we welcomed more than 25 teams to Lomax Elementary for our annual FIRST outreach event, Tune It Up, Tampa!

Organized Chaos

It was great to see how many people are becoming involved in starting First LEGO League teams in Florida.  We had groups from every corner of the State, from Ocala, and Orlando, from way over in Brevard, and all the way from Miami! The Workshop Day helps veteran teams work on specific team details in order to become more competitive, while most of our Rookie teams are just getting basic information on how to get their teams started for the season!  Even though we organize the event, it’s a group effort of many veteran FLL Leaders and teams who volunteer their time:  Lomax Robopanthers and Coach, Greg Verrill; FTC Coaches, Paul Bresnan & KK Quah; Tournament Director, Rich Berglund; Amanda Peterson with Energy Elites; not to mention all the parents and team members on Team Brick Buddies!

We had great time with all of the teams!  And we look forward to another fantastic Workshop Day, 2012.  Stay tuned.  And remember, register early!

Team Technical