The Coral Reef Elementary School C.R.A.B.s Robotics Team won first place in the Project Category at the Cypress Swamp First Lego League Qualifying Challenge in upstate Lakeland. The team invented a device that can track a person’s location using radar to help find them as soon as possible in the event of a natural disaster.
Phil Ferro, Chief Meteorologist at WSVN Channel 7, worked as a mentor with the team and provided expert advice on the research and design portions of the project. Capt. Sean Nolan of the Coral Gables Fire Department provided expertise on the “search and rescue” portion of the invention. The students also won an Alliance Challenge for earning the most points in the Robot Matches when paired with another team.
Twelve teams competed from various cities in South Florida and the Coral Reef C.R.A.B.s were one of two teams with elementary school age students. The other teams were comprised of middle school students. For outstanding performance in all categories, the C.R.A.B.s qualified for regionals later in February where they will compete for a chance to advance to the state competition.
Team members include Emily Foreman, Marley Ross, Nicolas Carvajal, Jake Glidden, Anthony Pastrana, Austin Valdes, Hsiang Hong, Sophia Leng, Christopher Lopez, and Carson Rogers. Coral Reef Elementary School teachers Kim Valdes and Claudia Pastrana have been coaching the FLL team since the beginning of the school year in the areas of robot game, core values and project design.
In the spirit of creativity the original team named themselves the C.R.A.B.s (Coral Reef Advanced Bionics) Team. As a first year team in the competition, the nine students that composed the team and the coaches took on the challenge with excitement and trepidation. Florida has enough registered FLL Lego teams to host both a championship tournament and a qualifying tournament.
On January 3, 2012, the C.R.A.B.s participated in the local 2011 Food Factor Challenge Qualifying tournament held at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and was awarded the Project Award 1st place trophy. The C.R.A.B.s team designed a stone crab claw cracker that maintains the perfect temperature for the crab with minimal human interaction to avoid the transmission of germs. The skit took place at Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market where the C.R.A.B.s had toured as part of the research for the project.
The 2012 Senior Solution Challenge required students to research possible inventions that can be designed to assist senior citizens to maintain an active lifestyle. After interviewing seniors and extensive research, the students determined that the number one issue that senior citizens face is the ability to maneuver all the technology available today. The C.R.A.B.s designed a portable tablet with the potential to project the screen on a wall or hard surface for easier readability.
At the Senior Solution Challenge Qualifying Round in January, the C.R.A.B.s were awarded the Judge’s Award for outstanding performance in all categories.