How it all started
Ever since our beginnings, GET SMART has looked to spread FIRST in as many ways possible. Our dream became reality in 2014 with the formation of 2 FLL teams in our county; FLL Team 648 Get Smarties and FLL Team 8192 EagleBots. This was just the beginning of a massive explosion of FIRST in our region.
In 2015 we expanded the network of FIRST by creating 11 new FLL teams. This was possible thanks to a $25,000 grant from one of our founding sponsors, PotashCorp White Springs. We then recieved a matching grant through the Consortium for Florida Education Foundations and were able to bring FIRST to every elementary and middle school in our county.
In order to help ensure the 13 team’s success, GET SMART hosted a bootcamp for all of the teams in the county in 2015. The coaches, student representatives, and North Florida FLL Affiliate Partners, Mark McCombs and Kathie Carswell, were invited to GET SMART’s classroom/workshop. Here the teams were able to ask questions about the game, project, and presentation.
North East Florida FLL Championship
Seven of the 13 teams from Columbia County advanced to the FLL Championship in Jacksonville, Florida. GET SMART members attended and showed support for their mentee teams, with high fives and pep talks along the way. Four of the seven teams earned awards, including second place Champions Award and a bid to the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas.