SARASOTA — A committee of local high school students planned and hosted the sixth annual Remote Control Car Competition at the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab in Sarasota on Saturday.

“Our mission here is to inspire and support today and tomorrow’s innovators” said Ping Faulhaber, the executive director and co-founder of Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab.

The high school committee started planning the event at the beginning of the school year and volunteered more than 1,000 hours to put on the competition, Faulhaber said.

The committee was responsible for everything including all of the workshops leading up to the event as well as the design of the tracks and awards.

“It’s been hectic definitely at the end, but it was really fun doing it throughout this year,” said Christopher DeMassa, a student at Suncoast Polytechnical High School and one of the executive committee students.

The competition featured students in the area ranging from elementary school to high school.

The students used the lab’s equipment to create and design their own remote control cars centered on this year’s fantasy theme.

“We learned how to use a lot of different machines and that it is really hard to make a car,” said Myer Sachs, of Osprey and a fifth-grader at Pine View School.

Sachs and his teammate Finn Donaldson, of Venice, used a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, and a foam cutter to make their car, The Nemean Lions, which won first place in the elementary category for the best use of lab.

“I think the students are having so much fun, they don’t even think they are learning,” Faulhaber said.

On Saturday, the competition included a challenge track and a larger main track that tested the speed and efficiency of the students’ cars.

The cars were also judged on the design aspects including, best use of lab, best theme and most unique car.

“It’s been very rewarding to see it all come together because we have been designing it (the event) the whole year,” DeMassa said.


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