Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Sumo Robots Collide In Brandon
It was full-contact robotics at the Toys R Us in Brandon in April as six robots battled during a Sumo BrickBots event. The robots were designed, built, and programmed by area elementary and middle school students using LEGO bricks and Mindstorms software.

The sumo robots use sensors to navigate the arena like self-driving cars, except their goal is to crash into their opponent and push it out of the ring. The competition was friendly, however, with kids helping each other repair and debug each other’s robots.

For anyone interested in learning about LEGO robotics or creating and testing their sumo bot in battle, there are free monthly Sumo BrickBot events scheduled at the Hive at the John F. Germany Public Library downtown on Saturdays: May 20 from 2- 4 p.m., June 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, and July 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon. For information, visitt

Mike Gottman Football Camp

The 7th Annual Mike Gottman Youth Football Camp is a great opportunity for students in grades 3 through incoming 9th to learn the game of football at the high school level.

This camp is designed to incorporate FUNdamentals in teaching various aspects of the game and challenge campers to become students of the game and instill responsibility by learning to be successful on and off the field.

Camp will take place at Durant High School from Monday to Thursday, June 5-8 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The fee is $125 per camper. Visit For more info call 323-4347 or email Michael.Gottman@Sdhc.k12.FL.US.

New Summer Programs At Florida Academy Of The Performing Arts

Children can learn to play violin this summer at The Florida Academy of the Performing Arts (FAOPA), at a new week-long camp this summer for children in grades 3-5. They will learn how to play a violin, how to read music, and learn music theory.

The camp runs Monday to Friday, July 24-July 28 from 9 a.m.-12 Noon and children can stay for the whole day for more musical activities in the afternoon. The camp includes the use of a violin for the week.

Children who have already played the violin for a year can sign up for rock violin camp, which runs Monday to Friday, July31-August 4. Campers will play pop, rock, and jazz music, and learn to play with background tracks.

These are just two of the camps offered by the Florida Academy of the Performing Arts. There are musical theatre camps as well as week-long full-day music camps called Music and More for children ages 5 and up.

The Florida Academy of Performing Arts at Music Showcase is located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information on all summer programs or to sign up, call 490-2787 or visit

YMCA Summerpalooza Parties Free For Tampa Bay Families

The Tampa YMCA is hosting free Summerpalooza parties for the community on Saturday, June 3 from 1–4 p.m. at the following local family Y locations: North Brandon Family YMCA at 3097 S. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner (685-5402) and Campo Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico (684.1371).

The free summer bashes will feature pool parties, family fun games, arts & crafts, healthy refreshments, music, prizes and much more! The Summerpalooza parties are the first of many more family-friendly socials and programming at the Y throughout the summer. From dive-in movies and themed cookouts to pool games and fitness challenges, families can come to the Y to enjoy quality time together. Free family events/activities are included in a YMCA family membership and are offered at all Tampa YMCA family Ys.
Toastmasters Presents An Evening With Olivia Schofield

 On Saturday, June 10 from 7-9 p.m., Toastmasters presents An Evening with Olivia Schofield at Progressive Insurance in Riverview. Schofield is a Londoner, living in Berlin. In 2010, a friend introduced her to Toastmasters. The nurturing environment immediately appealed to her: a nurturing environment that would unlock her voice. 18 months after joining Toastmasters, she went on to place first at the District level in the international speech competition. She was a finalist at The World Championship of Public Speaking in Las Vegas in 2011 and out of 30,000 contestants; she placed as the top woman and the first District 59er ever to reach the finals. Schofield is the founder of Spectacular Speaking, a company dedicated to raising the standard of public speakers and their presentations. She is also a speech coach and TEDX speaker.

Schofield will show us how to give our speeches impact that remains long after you’ve left the stage.

The cost to attend is $10. To register, visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.