West Shore places first at Harris competition

Konur Oyman, Staff Writer

Another award was added to West Shore’s already reputable collection of accomplishments after its team placed first place in Harris Corporation’s Engineering Week.

Juniors Ian Chan, Lexi Krehbiel, Clay Uhing and sponsor Cinsy Krehbiel comprised team CLICK which represented the school. In addition, Ellery Chan served as parent mentor and contributed significantly to the coaching. During the competition, CLICK had to program an app that could function on an Android smart phone. The app had to be able to work as a GPS, read angles and work as a compass.

“On the day of the competition, [the application] needed to be able to send messages encrypted to a beacon, and they also had to receive messages from the beacon that sent them on a scavenger hunt,” Cinsy Krehbiel said. “The kids are carrying the phones as they’re going around, so [the app] had to be able to perform different tasks. It was like a scavenger hunt. It was a race, and each of the teams had to write their own application which was the ultimate goal.”

The team also was required to put together a slideshow presentation and explain everything about the application they created to Harris Corporation executives.

“The vice presidents — when they were all done hearing all the teams’ presentations — stood up, gave feedback and said a whole bunch of nice things,” Cinsy Krehbiel said. “Then they basically pointed to West Shore’s presentation as the way to do it.”

Competing against West Shore were five teams from Bayside High School and two teams from Palm Bay High School. Lexi Krehbiel said being outnumbered made winning that much sweeter.

“It was really exciting to win,” she said. “It was lot of work, and we came into the competition facing disadvantages already. We were the only team that didn’t have a programming class at school.”

In fact before the competition, the West Shore team had only programmed on calculators, but once members started working on the project, they had to learn how to program in Java. Despite coming in facing several hurdles, Uhing said the victory was never in question.

“We thought we did exceptionally well in the presentation portion of it, but we finished the course so fast that we where unsure of our success,” Uhing said.

Ian Chan said that in addition to the victory, he also enjoyed the process.

“It was a good experience designing a product and being able to present it and having to do a report on it,” he said.  “It was good for the future because it was like a real-job situation.”

In honor of its victory, CLICK received a plaque that currently is on display in the front office.

Sophomore Ashley Rabel contributed to this report