Cornerstone Academy robotics team takes first in competition

The Cornerstone Academy's varsity Robotics Team won first place at a recent competition. In the front row, from left, are William Hodik and Tirza Angerhofer with the trophy. In the middle row from left are Timon Angerhofer, Oscar Witte, Carter Wyatt and Andrew Maule. In back from left are Timothy Constantin, Pierce Tolar, Noah Goodall and team mentor Jeff Knack. (Submitted photo)

Published: Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 5:41 p.m.

The Cornerstone Academy's nine-member varsity Robotics Team earned first place at the 10th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Florida Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition held in Cocoa Beach and will advance to the international competition to be held June 26-28 in Alpena, Michigan.

This year's team includes high school students from Cornerstone Academy, local homeschool students and dual-enrollment students. They are: Junior Timon Angerhofer, freshman Tirza Angerhofer, sophomore Timothy Constantin, junior Noah Goodall, freshman William Hodik, senior Andrew Maule, sophomores Pierce Tolar, sophomore Oscar Witte and freshman Carter Wyatt. Their mentor is Jeff Knack.

The international competition is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Marine Technology Society Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle Committee and other international organizations and businesses. A Remotely Operated Vehicles, or ROV, is a tethered, underwater robot-like machine used to complete tasks and solve real-world problems in underwater environments. The 2014 competition focuses on the role of ROVs in exploring and documenting shipwrecks as well as receiving information on sinkholes in the Great Lakes.

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Gainesville Toastmasters Club member Sylvia Deputy won first place in the Division G International Speech Contest held in Ocala. Anchalee Phataralaoha, of Gainesville and member of the Talking Gators Club on the University of Florida campus, won third place in the Table Topics (extemporaneous speaking) contest. Division G encompasses clubs in Alachua, Marion, Citrus and Lake Counties.

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Team VA won $250 for the Gainesville Fisher House at the Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association 5K held recently. The Gainesville Fisher House, built solely by private funding, will provide a home away from home for veterans and their families receiving care at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center.

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The Alachua County Farm Bureau presented Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser with a check for $30,000 to fund scholarships for students pursuing degrees in agricultural and agriculture-related fields. The county Farm Bureau is committed to donating a total of $50,000 by 2016.

Alachua County Farm Bureau, which each year provides direct scholarships totaling $25,000 to active Farm Bureau members and their children, will continue to offer those scholarships in addition to supporting the scholarship program and Santa Fe College. The farm bureau is dedicated to advocating for farmers, ranchers and rural landowners and improving the quality of rural life. It is affiliated with the Gainesville-based Florida Farm Bureau Federation.

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David Jowers, park manager of the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, is one of three recipients of the 2013 Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award.

Each year, natural resource managers from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Forest Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are selected for this award, one of Florida's highest environmental honors.

Jowers, who has served the Florida Park Service for 34 years in eight different parks in four districts, manages the Paynes Prairie Preserve, as well as Price's Scrub and the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, covering more than 23,000 acres of state land and 16 miles of trails. He also works with his team to conduct prescribed burns to prevent devastating wildfires in the ecosystem he manages. Jowers has been instrumental in the $25 million wetland restoration project known as Sweetwater Branch Sheetflow Restoration, which will enhance 125 acres of wetlands and restore the sheetflow to nearly 1,300 acres of wetlands.

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A team of 20 University of Florida students won first place in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Campus RainWorks Challenge. Their winning project was a plan on how to dramatically reduce stormwater runoff on a 67.6-acre part of campus.

Team members include landscape architecture students Adam S. McCollister, Stephanie Bou-Ghannam, Johan Bueno, Kristina Bunyi, Adrienne Campbell, Viviana Castro, Craig Handley, Mark Koenig, Kyle Passeneau, Joshua Roedell, Laura Snider, Jessica Soleyn, Christopher Stidham, Claudia Visconti, Theresa Wymer and Jordan Young; environmental engineering students Tracy Fanara and Kelsie Timpe; agricultural and biological engineering student Natalie A. Nelson; and fine arts student Mario Rodriguez.

This is the second time UF has won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Campus RainWorks Challenge in the master plan category.

The challenge was created to engage college and university students in reinventing water infrastructure and developing innovative green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build resilience to climate change.

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