Robotics Showdown: 24 Central Florida Teams Put Engineering Skills to the Test


Story Highlights:

  • More than 200 Central Florida high school students gathered at Lockheed Martin to participate in a robotics competition
  • The competition challenged 24 teams of students to design robots to overcome complex requirements
  • Lockheed Martin ELDPs invested more than 450 hours mentoring the students and preparing for the competition

Twenty-four high school teams put their hand-designed robots to the test as they sought to overcome a challenging course to take home a winner’s trophy and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

More than 200 Central Florida high school students gathered to cheer on their teams’ robots at the 11th annual high school robotics competition hosted at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control as part of National Engineers Week.

High School Robotics Competition

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, the students met their competition for a robotics showdown at the robotics competition arena. The course was full of complex challenges that served as requirements for the robots. Four teams competed at a time in two-on-two match ups. The course, represented graphically above, demanded agility, wit and strength.

Agility was required as robots navigated the small opening of the cornucopia to retrieve foam balls and maneuver around other teams.

Wit was demonstrated through tag-team trivia challenges: if teams raced their robots up the ramps to activate the challenges, two teammates would step in to solve problems like mathematic equations and engineering feats to earn more points.

Strength proved necessary as robots launched foam balls at enemy obstructions to gain points.

In order to prepare for the competition, teams of students from Apopka, Boone, Dr. Phillips, Edgewater, Freedom, Lake Highland, Oak Ridge, Ocoee, Olympia, Osceola and West Orange high schools spent eight weeks with their Lockheed Martin Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP) mentors learning hands-on engineering tips to overcome the course’s challenges.

Partner teams from Dr. Phillips and Boone high schools were crowned victors in the final round, and a team from Apopka High School was awarded “Most Innovative” robot design.

Championship Co-Winners:
Dr Phillips Team 3 and Boone Team 2



Second Place Co-Teams:
Apopka Team 3 and Freedom Team 2



Most Innovative Design:
Apopka Team 1


View full team photos

“These students have dedicated so much time, energy and passion to create their robots, and it’s thrilling to watch all their hard work come to fruition. The robotics competition is such a rewarding event for everyone involved. Some of the teams’ design concepts really impressed me, and I am confident the students learned a lot through this hands-on STEM experience.”

Sarah Popp, Lockheed Martin ELDP, robotics competition lead and Dr. Phillips High School mentor

National Engineers Week

Lockheed Martin relies on its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges, like expeditions to Mars, cybersecurity, next-generation aircraft technology, elite air and missile defense. Lockheed Martin recognizes the critical need for future STEM leaders across the nation and actively invests in the next generation of innovators.

“My passion has always been mentoring younger students, professionally and academically. For E-Week, giving the high school students the opportunity to come together and practice engineering is one of the most rewarding experiences that enables continued interest in the STEM related fields. This competition is a lot of work for the students, but on competition day it all becomes worth it.”
Sean Delvecchio, Lockheed Martin ELDP and Olympia High School mentor

Every year, Lockheed Martin engineers across the United States celebrate National Engineers Week by sharing their passion for STEM in their local communities. This year, Lockheed Martin facilities in Central Florida coordinated hands-on opportunities – like site visits, robotics competitions and trivia challenges – to engage more than 1,900 local students in STEM.  

These annual robotics competitions allow students to gain exposure to practical engineering scenarios and work in teams to solve complex problems.

“The E-Week robotics competition is a great opportunity for students to get a taste of professional engineering while having a lot of fun. The mentoring relationship not only benefits the students, but also gives us a chance to renew our appreciation for our jobs as engineers here at Lockheed Martin.”
Christopher Newkirk, Lockheed Martin ELDP and Ocoee High School mentor

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