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Robotics Club Preps for VEX Competition

Monica Griffey and Mohan Varthakavi, Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) Deaf High School Robotics Coach and Assistant Coach, are busy supervising two student teams as they build their robots for the upcoming National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Regional STEM Center VEX 2018-2019 Competition in Morganton, North Carolina.

FSDB Team A students are Natalie Merced, Johan Valentin, and Chris Webber, and Team B students are Jacob Ellis, Chris Noble, Sara Rosario-Martinez. They spend Monday and Wednesday afternoons every week studying robot assembly blueprints and parts, despite competing interests for their time such as Homecoming activities!

Visit the FSDB Robotics Team website.

The original deadline was moved from April 2019 to December 2018, which explains why students are feverishly preparing for the competition. The upcoming competition features a two-minute window in which robots are expected to complete specific tasks. The competition game changes each year, so students are expected to expand designs and engineer new robots on a continuous basis.

Both FSDB teams will compete against 10 other school for the deaf teams during the competition in North Carolina. Team robots involve a basic model, which can be expanded upon in future competitions—the expedited timeline for this year has been a limit on creativity, but Griffey has plans! Besides more elaborate robots for the future, Griffey is in the process of building a website where all interested parties can stay appraised.

Best of luck to the budding FSDB student robotics crew and their advisors when they head to North Carolina. Stay tuned for a follow-up story about their December experiences. Additionally, you can learn more about Monica Griffey and her passion for robotics in the November 2018 Teacher Spotlight!

Submitted by Christi Boortz, Instructional Services Department


About FSDB The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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