Next up in our team spotlight features, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 744, Shark Attack of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida!
FIRST Robotics Competition team 744, Shark Attack, was founded in 2006, as the rebirth of two distinguished teams: now retired FRC Team 267 – Demolition Squad and half of the now retired FRC Team 710 – PAW. We chose our name because we are proud South Floridians, whose school is located a mere mile from the Fort Lauderdale Beach. The power, fluid motion, and amazing sensory capabilities of a shark are the goal of each robot we build. When 744 officially launched, we had one industrial sponsor, APEX Machine Company, who is still with us today. Since our inception we have also been supported by Westminster Academy, which is our high school home. We have added many new sponsors including major sponsors for this year: Motorola Solutions Foundation, United Technologies Corporation, Loucks Engineering, Inc., and SwingStoppers. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support.
FIRST Team 744’s purpose is to glorify God and to exemplify Gracious Professionalism while equipping students with knowledge of science and technology through creative problem solving and competition in the FIRST robotics program.
In our single decade of existence we have often been among the most competitive teams in our sate. Our most recent competition history is evidence of our zeal for the sport that is FIRST Robotics:
- Champions – 2015 Orlando Regional Robotics Competition
- Semi-Finalists – 2015 South Florida Regional Robotics Competition
- Galileo-Division Quarter-Finalists – 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship
- Quarter-Finalists – 2016 Orlando Regional Robotics Competition
- Semi-Finalists – 2016 South Florida Regional Robotics Competition
- Champions – 2016 Panther Prowl FIRST Robotics Competition
- Finalists – 2016 Mission Mayhem FIRST Robotics Competition
Our team’s success in community outreach includes many open houses, clinics, and demonstrations that increase awareness of FIRST and excite students about STEM. We have also played a major role in the formation and first season of new FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams at our school this year.
For nearly a decade our team has been involved in legislative initiatives to foster the growth of STEM education in Florida. Last year we were successful in securing $200,000.00 in funding for FIRST Robotics Competition Teams in Florida. This is the first state funding for FIRST Robotics Competition in Florida and we were honored to write the original text of the appropriation and to successfully lobby for the final request’s inclusion in the approved state budget. We are currently working on legislative initiatives at the state and national level that we hope will benefit STEM education and FIRST in particular. It is our strong belief that FIRST Robotics is the best STEM education program and we are doing our small part to tell the world!
Clearly our greatest legacy as a team is the changed lives of our students. Most choose engineering and the applied sciences as majors in college and some are all already part of what we call the “re-industrialization of America.”
You can see Shark Attack and all the great FIRST Robotics Competition teams competing at the Orlando Regional March 10 & 11! Get your FREE tickets today to see the Orlando Regional live!