HIGH SPRINGS ‒ The High Springs Brewing Company was home base for robotics, art and music on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Dozens of families took advantage of the sunny and windy afternoon to watch children and youth compete in robotics competition and enjoy the upbeat sounds of local teen music phenom Trevor Ellis. Adding to the eclectic mood of robotics and music, the nonprofit Good News Arts was on hand offering both children and adults opportunities to try their hand in arts and crafts activities.
Tucked a block off Main Street in beautiful High Springs, the High Springs Brewing Company provided an open-air setting and drinks for the day’s events. Pizza, wings, and more were scuttled from Prohibition Pizza located across the street by eventgoers throughout the afternoon.
Billed as a demonstration event, the robotics competition was organized by the local Swampbots Robotics Team. The Swampbots is a FIRST Tech Challenge Team (FTC) centered in Alachua County. Their middle/elementary team, the Frogmen coached by Jason Sweat, is part of the FIRST LEGO League.
The sole competition of the day was in the middle/elementary school division involving three teams: Frogmen, Inno Gators and Byte Force. After winning the first of three heats, the Inno Gators won the third heat to win First Place for the competition. The Frogmen scored Second Place and Byte Force finished in Third.
The Swampbots high school team put on several demonstrations showcasing robot building and agility exercises. And the pre-school team offered building activities to all competition visitors. All team coaches and team members were open to answer questions about robotics and team activities.
Throughout the afternoon, 15-year-old Trevor Ellis took to the stage to ply the crowd with a variety of music. Ellis has been playing musical instruments since he was a toddler. He was inspired by his family of musicians and began on the drums at the age of four. Singing both originals and covers while playing the acoustic guitar, Ellis was a crowd favorite between the breaks in competition. hiss parents and grandparents were present cheering him along.
Attendees also took the opportunity to visit the Good News Arts tables throughout the day. The local nonprofit had several arts and crafts activities set up throughout the venue and also hosted a silent auction of six handmade quilts crafted by regular attendees of Good News Arts. The proceeds of the silent quilt auction will benefit the upcoming 2024 Good News Arts Summer Camp. Located on Main Street downtown, High Springs, Good News Arts meets from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Visit them online at goodnewsarts.com for more information about getting involved.
Sunday’s robotics event made for an entertaining and informative afternoon, bringing together music and arts with the world of science and engineering in a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.
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