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Fab Lab Race

Local Suncoast Students Race to the Finish Line at the Fab Lab

| Jenn Sams |
Fab Lab Race
Elementary school team The Horned Lizards celebrates after a successful challenge race!

A Fantasy-themed wonderland welcomed 100 local students as they arrived at the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab’s sixth annual Remote Control Custom Car Open (RC Car) on April 17, 2021. The RC Car program is designed to drive brighter futures for local youth through experiential learning. Race day is the culmination of ten weeks of workshops that helped 40 teams of students in kindergarten through 12th grade build technical and life skills by customizing a remote-control car.

Fab Lab RC Car Race

The event included two thematic racetracks, which students raced along while dodging a life-size dragon, enchanted trees and a moving drawbridge. Participants also competed in a design competition where they showed off the enhancements made to their cars using Faulhaber Fab Lab equipment and tools.

Teams’ scores in the design competition and both track races determine winners. Middle school students Arjan Sandu and Steele Jackson from Team SPEED (Speedy People Engineering Extraordinary Drives) took home the 2021 RC Car Grand Champion title. Each year, the school with the most team registrations wins a $1,000 cash prize. Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences won the award for the second year in a row, narrowly beating out Wilkinson Elementary School. A list of winners in all categories is available on the website.

Like most Fab Lab programs, RC Car is designed for students, by students. The 2021 RC Car Executive Committee included 12 talented high school students who began planning for the event in August 2020. From selecting the theme to teaching workshops to constructing the racetracks, all aspects of the annual program are managed by the student committee with support from Fab Lab staff. Through this unique model, RC Car participants are empowered to explore new interests and develop life skills like collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking. Simultaneously, the high school student committee builds leadership experience that will prepare them for future pursuits. 

The 2021 RC Car program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Ringling College of Art + Design Studio & Digital Arts program, Steinwachs Family Foundation, Bill Wagy Productions, Congdon & Company Inc, Forza Wealth Management, Dr. Si McAninch, Iltis Lending Group and Troll Music.

About the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab

The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab was founded with the mission to inspire and support tomorrow’s innovators through experiential learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Through its fabrication lab and innovative programs, the Suncoast Science Center encourages people of all ages to explore ideas, build skills and confidence, and become lifelong learners. To learn more, visit Science Suncoast or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo Captions

1.    Elementary school team Moonraker, middle school team S.P.E.E.D. and high school team JBRWKY3 race off for the 2021 Grand Champion title.

Photos Courtesy of Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab

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