Mangrove 5th/6th Graders Take Home Top Prizes In Suncoast Science Center RC Car Custom Open!

Congratulations to both teams, “Team Garbage” and “Team Spanky” for their impressive showing in the 3rd annual Custom Car Open, (with the theme of “Junkyard”) hosted by the Suncoast Science Center!

Team Garbage (Owen, Ethan and Andre)  once again won the top prize in Design for their age group, with a “Mad Max” themed custom car.  Team Spanky (Viveka, Grace and Trey) won second place in the same category, with a tow truck design!

We are so proud at their exceptional skills at the lab, bringing their visions to life! It is particularly impressive considering that we are a school that eschews technology in the younger years, allowing the students to build capacities such as creativity and resourcefulness. Once they are given these other tools, not only do they learn to use them quickly, but they are capable of bringing in this wonderfully imaginative element, outside the box thinking, and focus yielding effective and innovative designs!

It was quite a detailed process!  “The lab was accessible throughout the build time prior to the race.  Participants had access to 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, dremels, design software, electronics and an vast assortment of hand tools for fabricating their designs.  An example of creativity and a new understanding for making things is CAD(Computer Aided Design).  This software creates a 3D rendering created from a sketch that can be generated into a parametric mesh of triangles and 3D printed. The 3D printer machine heats up a nozzle that extrudes and layers a plastic filament starting on a base until the model is complete.  The vinyl cutter uses a knife to make the cuts from sketch lines made in Coreldraw, a 2D vector design software.  The cutter was used to outline the stickers that were transferred to the shirts teams wore.  Volunteers and staff are always in the lab to help transform an idea into something to behold!”, explained Eric McGrath, of the Suncoast Science Center.

AND Team Garbage also won the entire contest over all age groups, and all schools!!!!!  That is some impressive building kids!  

Last but not least, congratulations on their pure sportmanship, with kind words to competing teams, and admirable conduct throughout the day.  A very special nod to Mangrove Dad, Bryan Suter, who helped ANY team who needed his expertise.  In fact, in the last heat it was Bryan who was able to get the competing team’s car to work, with a battery loan from the “e-lemon- aters” (another wonderful team in the open)!  He is an authentic example of  respect, honor, and virtue.  Thank you, Bryan!

Thank you to all the parents who made many trips to the lab to support your child’s passion: Keshara Alleyne, Jasen and Yolanda Benoit, Natalie and Christ Maute, Jennifer and Bryan Suter, and Abel and Lisiane Jimenez!  What a commitment to make, and another excellent example for the kids!

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