FIRST Robotics Team 79



Aside from building an award-winning competition robot, FIRST® Team 79 Krunch team members spend much of their time participating in various local community outreach programs.


First Team 79 Krunch Hazardous Waste Collection

FIRST® Team 79 Krunch has partnered with Pinellas County to support a Mobile Collection event for household electronics and chemicals recycling held at East Lake High School. Mobile Collections are a convenient way for residents to safely dispose of hazardous chemicals and electronics. Team members volunteer to direct traffic, hand out information, and collect hazardous waste from the public. According to the Pinellas County Utilities department, our team helps to collect several tons of household hazardous waste and consisting of electronics, latex paint, chemicals, and other waste materials each year. Approximately 98% of items collected are recycled, keeping it out of our landfills and utilized to create other products.


First Team 79 Krunch Food Drives

Team 79 collects over 100 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable foods as donations for F.E.A.S.T., a local food bank. In addition, students volunteer time and collect food and supplies for the Suncoast Animal League, a local no-kill animal shelter.


First Team 79 Krunch  School Supply Drive

At the end of each school year, Team 79 members collect new and gently used school supplies during our Annual School Supplies Recycling Program to benefit disadvantaged students at local elementary schools.


First Team 79 Krunch Holiday Donations

A few weeks prior to Thanksgiving, Team 79 families donate funds towards the purchase of gift cards for distribution to disadvantaged families. This allows them to purchase meals and gifts for holiday season.


First Team 79 Krunch Relay for Life

Krunching Cancer

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Update: Team Krunching Cancer raised $1,535.00 for Relay For Life of East Lake! Thank you all for your generous donations!

FIRST® Team 79 Krunch, a.k.a. "KRUNCHing Cancer," participated in their first Relay for Life walk for the American Cancer Society (ACS) in 2005 and has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research. This program is especially close to FIRST® Team 79's heart as they walk in remembrance of Barry Leedy, a beloved Honeywell mentor who lost his battle with cancer in 2011.

Team 79 has developed a unique fundraising model to engage the support of other FIRST® teams. Team 79 is known for "turning pink" at competitions when pink t-shirts are pulled on over our traditional KRUNCH blue shirts to show our support for the American Cancer Society. The team provides participants and spectators the opportunity to donate to the American Cancer Society via collection cans that are carried throughout the pits and stands. This model has been approved by FIRST® and is targeted to a very specific audience.

Our team members also create unique, hand-crafted pens on the mini lathes in our Engineering Lab. These pens are sold during our various fund raising events and proceeds are donated to further cancer research.

Team 79 now partners with the East Lake High School Academy's "Engineering a Cure" Relay for Life team to raise awareness and additional funds for the American Cancer Society.


First Team 79 Krunch Extreme Makeover

FIRST® Team 79 Krunch's very own Coach Paul Wahnish, was contacted by ABC-TV to participate in an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode in 2005. His students' assignment: transform a 12- by 14-foot bedroom into a cyber-wonderland for a 12-year-old by the name of Charlie Dolan. Charlie is the son of James Dolan, a RadioShack employee who lost both eyes and was left blind after a shooting rampage in November of 2004. The team worked non-stop to complete its designs for Charlie's room, which featured a 5-foot remote-controlled robotic arm mounted from the ceiling. Under the desk's hinged top is a playing field with several miniature robots the students built. Ironically, the house was completed in 79 hours. When it was presented to the family, Charlie Dolan was completely in awe of his new robotics bedroom.

For the full-length, two-part Extreme Makeover Home Edition episode, please click Part 1 and Part 2.

To view Team 79 featured in the St. Petersburg Times, please click here.


First Team 79 Krunch Habitat for Humanity

FIRST® Team 79 Krunch volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a former East Lake High School student who was unable to secure a job and was in college pursuing her master's degree in Engineering. Our team not only made a positive impact on her life, but we also learned new skills and built lasting memories.

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