FIRST® Team 79 Krunch was founded in 1998 by Honeywell, Inc., in Clearwater Florida. It was originally organized as a community-based team and soon became part of a local high school club. Our team enjoyed many years of success as well as the support and mentorship from Honeywell, GE, Jabil, CTEF, and other local corporations. However, changes in leadership and limitations led to the team ending its affiliation with the school and returning to its roots as a community-based program, now known as The Interact Club of Krunch Robotics. This positive change now opens team membership to all high-school aged students throughout our community who are interested in STEM and robotics. It also provides an environment of equality, diversity and inclusion, and allows more opportunities for future growth and expansion.
Our team currently meets at the East Lake Community Library and Honeywell continues to support us by paying for its competition fees and offsetting some of its expenses. Alumni team members Greg Raphan and Tori Lue have taken on the responsibility to lead and coach FIRST® Team 79 Krunch so that it can continue its reputation as a competitive, award-winning robotics team. Both Greg and Tori benefit the team by having an extensive background and combined business experience in robotics, mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, marketing, project management, manufacturing, and information technology. Other alumni team members, most of whom have been in their professional fields for a number of years, have come back to mentor the team because they recognize the importance and benefits of being part of a program that promotes STEM careers and education.