By Tamas Mondovics


Strawberry Crest IB High School Students Among Winners of FTC Robotics World Championship


Parents and teachers of two junior Strawberry Crest IB High School were proud to announce that Shrey Agarwal and Meghana Chapalamadugu, members of Team 6433, won last month’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics World Championship held in St. Louis, Mo.

The team, also known as The Neutrinos, was formed four years ago comprising of students from Tampa Bay and Lakeland supported by corporate sponsors and parents, celebrated its victory following the event, which saw 128 teams from 20 countries.

Team parent, Vimal Agarwal proudly said that the FTC is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model as teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. A robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages.

“FTC has over 4,500 teams from all over the world comprising of over 18,000 students,” Agarwal said. “The Neutrinos had a clean sweep this year, winning the State Championship, South Regional Championship in San Antonio in April and finally the World Championship in St. Louis last month.”

Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.

Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

For more information, visit Also see



Photo:  Neutrinos

Cutline: Team 6433 The Neutrinos celebrate their FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics World Championship held in St. Louis.



District Hosts Math at the Mall


More than 250 students from 18 Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) participated in the annual Math at the Mall scavenger hunt, held at the Westfield Brandon Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center Dr., and Westfield Citrus Park Mall  8021 Citrus Park Town Center Blvd., Tampa.

The event allowed the participating schools to bring a math task ranging from locating various polygons within the mall, to number sense activities and games both students and parents can play at home.

While there is no winners, according to HCPS External Communications Assistant Manager Kristin W. Davis the event does measure up the children’s skills and talents with a chance to win a small price by entering a raffle.

“Westfield Brandon and Westfield Citrus Park also partnered with stores within the mall and students were able to compete in a scavenger hunt – answering math related questions with a chance to be entered for raffle prizes,” she said.

Davis added that the event provided practical application of mathematics in a real world setting. For more information about Hillsborough County Public Schools, visit



County Joins Summer Program To Provide Children With 500,000 Free Lunches And Snacks


Through its Summer Food Service Program, with meals available from June 8 through August 14, Hillsborough County announced its participation in the efforts to provide nearly 500,000 free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to needy children at more than 50 sites throughout the County.

Officials said that the sites offered at local parks and other community locations to all children under 18 are located in areas where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free or reduced price meals during the school year.

The Summer Food Service Program is said to provide a balanced meal during summer vacation when school meals are not available.

The program is federally funded and operated by the Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services.

A list of approved sites can be found under the Summer Food Service Program link at


Hillsborough County High Schools Listed on Washington Post Rankings

of Nation’s Most Academically Challenging Schools


HCPS officials recently announced that all 27 traditional high schools in district are listed on the Washington Post’s recent rankings of the nation’s best high schools.

According to the report, Hillsborough High School was the highest rated in the Tampa Bay area, ranking 55th in the nation.

On the list that included more than 2,300 high schools from around the nation, three other Hillsborough County high schools: King High (65th), Robinson High was ranked (78th), and Plant High (88) also rank in the top 100.

The Post ranked some of the nearby schools in the following order: Joe E. Newsome (175), Strawberry Crest (217), Steinbrenner (319), Bloomingdale (500), Spoto (656), Durant (802), Riverview Senior (1247), Brandon (1307), East Bay (1745), Armwood (2034), Earl J. Lennard (2320).

Previously known as America’s Best High Schools published by Newsweek, the ranking is now called, America’s Most Challenging High Schools and is published by the Washington Post.

The high school Challenge Index is based on a formula that takes the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and college-level tests administered at a school divided by the number of graduating seniors.

“It’s great to see all our high schools getting this kind of recognition,” said Acting Superintendent Jeff Eakins. “We’re going to continue challenging our students because we know they’re up to the task, and we want them prepared for life after high school.”

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