FIRST Robotics Team 79




In 2011, Career Technical Education Foundation, Inc. (CTEF), with the assistance of MITRE completed the creation of what is now the State of Florida approved Cyber Security Benchmark & Standards Curriculum. During the summer of 2012, a small pilot program was initiated to train vocational technical teachers, as well as a group of high school students, including East Lake High School Academy of Engineering students and FIRST® Team 79 Krunch members, with the curriculum. In addition to the curriculum, a cyber-security after-school club was developed to train students in computer security and network defense. During its inaugural year at East Lake High School, the Cyber Warrior Club met weekly to address world concerns regarding the safety and security of our systems of communications. This club quickly blossomed into our Cyber Security Academy, a four-year program that teaches defense in the global community. In addition, there is an ongoing effort to work with the Department of Defense to bridge their needs with technical resources and knowledge. Several Team 79 members attend the Cyber Security Academy and/or are members of the Cyber Warrior Club. Both of these opportunities provide high school students with skills that can be immediately applied upon graduation or leveraged into degree or certificate programs.


A group of FIRST® Team 79 Krunch members are working with MITRE employees and Kettering students to design, build and program an unmanned underwater vehicle capable of exploring sub-aquatic environments. After three months of work, our robot performed successfully before an audience of college professors, heads of engineering companies, and government sponsors. This is an ongoing project, and our students continue to improve the performance of the robot. Through this project, we hope to spread awareness of FIRST® and FIRST® Team 79 Krunch to a substantial congregation of engineers and scientists throughout our nation.


FIRST® Team 79 Krunch and East Lake High School Engineering Academy students are working with MITRE on designing an "Iron Man" suit for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The suit known as "Iron Man" is officially called TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operations Suit). It is a next generation battlefield suit which provides wearers both protection and super human strength using robotics and exoskeleton technologies.

The Engineering Lab at East Lake High School is well-equipped with 3-D design software, 3-D printers, a state of the art CNC machine, injection molding machine, various lathes, drill presses, a belt sander, and other tools. Unfortunately, the heavy cutting equipment, welding, and materials to move from the design to the production phase is not available in the lab. Coach Paul Wahnish reached out to the Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association and industry contacts to find a developer and located QTM, Inc. in Oldsmar, Florida. QTM representatives worked closely with students to move their concepts from the drawing board to reality.

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