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Welcome to McKeel High School Robotics!

Our program is designed to allow students to learn and experience first-hand the Engineering Design Process through competitive Robotics via participation in FTC, or FIRST Tech Challenge. (

In our lower-level programs, students are immersed in the Engineering Design Process as they learn 3D modeling, programming, communication, teamwork and leadership, in addition to building robots using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and EV3 platforms.

Students who demonstrate mastery of these important skills are invited to apply to our upperlevel competitive program. This program is extremely exciting, fast-paced and fun - but it also requires a great deal of commitment on the part of both the students and parents.

Student Expectations

  • Commit to the mission and vision of FIRST (
  • Work diligently in class to fulfill assigned responsibilities for the team.
  • Attend the first Outreach event to be held no more than 3 weeks after Challenge release. (Challenge typically released during the first week of September.)
  • Participate in at least two other Outreach events as decided on by your team.
  • Fundraise a minimum of $100 through business/community sponsors.
  • Dedicate no less than 3 and no more than 8 hours of after-school time per week during peak build time (September through November.) (Leaders/Managers commit to 5-8 hours per week.)
  • Dedicate time as determined by the team during competition season.
  • Be open to trying out different roles as needed by the team (design, build, programming, marketing, documentation, outreach, etc), while working towards finding where your strengths are.
  • Provide detailed documentation of each class/work session. EVERY time.
  • Attend at least 2 Qualifying Tournaments between November and January. These tournaments are held on Saturdays, and are all-day events. (If McKeel hosts a tournament, all members are required to attend.)
  • Attend the Regional Tournament Championship, usually held in late January.
  • Do everything required to communicate effectively, resolve conflict quickly, and support the team’s goals over individual goals.
  • Returning FTC veterans must understand that they are setting the example for new members, and are held to an even higher degree of accountability.

Parent Commitment

  • Understand all student expectations, and agree to help them uphold all responsibilities.
  • Read (and respond to as necessary) emails from coaches.
  • Return signed paperwork, or complete online paperwork, promptly when requested.
  • Attend the first Outreach event to be held no more than 3 weeks after Challenge release. (Challenge typically released during the first week of September.)
  • Partner with your student to fundraise the $100 or more and to connect with members of the community.
  • Complete the screening process to become a FIRST volunteer, and volunteer for at least one tournament.
  • Communicate and coordinate with other team parents regarding transportation, food and any other details that help support the team for tournaments and work sessions.

**Exact dates for events are not set until after the season begins, and will be provided to parents and students as soon as they are available.**

McKeel Robotics is quickly becoming a recognized name in our League. With committed parents and students, the sky is the limit!

Application for 2019-20 available soon!

Mrs. Stacey, Administrator

August 2019 begins my 24th year at McKeel.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1994 and moved to Lakeland in 1995.  I have taught Math, Spanish, Integrated Research, ALPHA (Gifted), Beginning Programming Concepts, Middle and High School Robotics, Critical & Computational Thinking, Introduction to Information Technology, IT Systems and Applications, AP Computer Science Principles, and this year AP Computer Science A (Java).  I am currently certified to teach Spanish K-12, Elementary K-6, Computer Science K-12, Engineering & Technology Education 6-12, and I have endorsements for Gifted and Coaching.  I serve as the contact for the high school Gifted program here at McKeel Academy.  This year I will be teaching AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, Advanced IT (Microsoft MTA certification) and co-teaching Robotics 3&4 with Mr. Schweim and Foundations of Robotics with Mrs. Spivey. I co-sponsor our FTC Robotics program with Mr. Schweim. I am very enthusiastic about all the great things that will be accomplished this year!


*Please see this handy guide for information about Canvas and the Gradebook!*

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Mr. Schweim, Administrator

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  I am so excited to be a part of the McKeel staff as a robotics teacher.  This year, I will be teaching Robotics I (Foundations of Robotics), Robotics II (Robotics Design Essentials), Robotics III (Robotic Systems), and Robotics IV (Robotic Applications Capstone.  As a part of the curriculum for Robotics III and IV, I am a coach, along with Mrs. Stacey, of five FIRST Tech Challenge competitive robotics teams.

I am in my 17th year of teaching and my fifth year at McKeel Academy of Technology.  Prior to joining this staff, I came from Rochelle School of the Arts where I was a middle school science and robotics teacher.  I am a graduate of the University of Florida and a proud fan of the Florida Gators.  I attend every Gator football home game and haven't missed one since the start of the 1996 season.

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