Polo Park Middle School’s Cyber Stallions robotics teams again outscored their competitors with victories at the Florida State Invitational in Niceville, held March 31 through April 2.
Team 16113, the Cyber Guardians, won the state Breakthrough Award. This award celebrates a team that made significant progress in their confidence and capability, in both Robot Games and the Innovation Project, and are a shining example of excellent Core Values. As a team, they understand that what they discover is more important than what they win.
Team 36112, the Rockin Robots, won the Robot Performance Award, with a score of 520 points, the highest score in the state. Additionally, they won the Champions Award for best team in the state.
Team 44893, the Royal Robots, were regional champions and represented South Florida at the World Invitational in Houston, Texas, which was set for April 20-23.
“Hard work pays off. These kids have practiced five days a week two to three hours a day and never once complained,” Cyber Stallions coach David Grad said. “Well, I guess a little complaining. But they pushed through and because of that, they are reaching their highest potential. This is a family, and we show that each and every day.”
Andrew Bueno-Tavares, from Team 16113, the Cyber Guardians, is proud of the group’s achievements.
“Truth of the matter is that you can’t do everything alone,” he said. “The people closest to me are the ones who gave me strength. No matter how strong your soul may be, and no matter how many battles you’ve fought alone, this life is meant to be lived with the people closest to you. To love, to learn, to grow, smile and cry, that’s what this life is all about. Making memories with the people you love. Growing so that you’ll be able to teach someone your life lessons and learning so that life becomes more enjoyable. Giving is the reason why I do what I do, to give to the world, to give to the people I work with, to give them hope, and to teach them something. That’s what life is to me.”
Fellow teammate George Honeycutt enjoyed the robot portion the best.
“To see your robot do what you programmed it to do. With a lot of hard work and determination, it really pays off,” he said. “It’s really gratifying to compete, get judged and see your score sheet. I would recommend it to students who haven’t tried.”
The Polo Park Cyber Stallions teams have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help with travel expenses. If you’d like to contribute, visit http://gf.me/u/2skkfq.