MARCH 2023
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


North South Foundation ( will be holding its on-site educational contests for Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Jacksonville in April. Taking place in the United States since 1993, the contests are designed to encourage academic excellence among Indian American students and prepare them for college.

The contests are grouped into Junior, Intermediate or Senior levels for children from first- through 12th grade. Conducted every year in two steps, children participate in Regional Contests at various locations throughout the country. Then students with high scores, based on a cut-off, advance to the National Finals.

Computer science, spelling, essay, math, vocabulary, history, geography and public speaking contests are offered. Registration deadline and details are available on the web site.

ORLANDO: The contests will be held April 1. Venue is yet to be determined. For information, call Dr. Latha Ganti at (407) 955-0059 or email

TAMPA BAY: The contests, sponsored by Gurukulam of Tampa Bay Sunday School, will be April 1-2 at USF Cooper Hall, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. For information, call Ramesh Vasudevan at (813) 701-7870 or email e-mail

FORT LAUDERDALE: The Fort Lauderdale contests will be held April 1-2 at The Sagemont Upper School, 2585 Glades Circle, Weston. For information, call Malathi Yeedara at (954) 918-3903 or email

JACKSONVILLE: They will be on April 13-14. For more information, call Rajiv Gupta at (904) 349-3179 or e-mail

Parents who are interested in registering their children can visit For questions regarding any of the chapter contests, e-mail


FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) a program within FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of

Science and Technology), helps students (ages 12-18) learn to think like engineers. Teams design, build, and code robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. They work on developing autonomous and driver-controllable robot to complete missions on a thematic playing field. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java based programming. Teams also work on other areas, including creating an engineering notebook, business and sustainable plan, team goals for the season, fundraising, and outreach and engagement with engineering community, mentors, and also with non-technical community.

The new FTC 2022-2023 season began last year in September. FTC Team #16716 IvyWarriors, a student community robotics team from Odessa, has continued to follow and develop their passion for engineering and robotics. It has advanced to the Florida State Championship by winning in the Tampa Bay Regional League Championship in Lakeland, attended by 19 teams on Feb 4. At the Florida State Championship, which will held at the Advent Fieldhouse in Winter Haven on March 3-4, they will compete against 56 other teams from Florida to win a spot for entering the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston in April.

IvyWarriors consists of seven high school students (Sahil Vaswani, Joshua Selvan, Rohil Agarwal, Vineet Sharma, Ananth Kutuva, Neil Babu and Avaneesh Venkatesh). These youths come from different schools in the Tampa Bay area, including Land O’ Lakes IB High, Berkley Prep, Hillsborough High, Strawberry Crest High, and Robinson IB High School. The team is supported by two coaches (Abhay Vaswani and Tamil Gurusamy) along with other mentors. To qualify for the prestigious State Championship, the team has worked tirelessly over the past six months to build a robot that completes all tasks relatively efficiently with consistency. This year, the team robot includes 3D printed parts for grabbing cones from a field and holding them on a linear slide to transport and drop on poles with different heights to score.

For more information, visit and FIRST website at

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