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RC Car

You're Invited: 8th Annual RC Custom Car Open

Join us for an action-packed race day event and cheer on 60+ teams who have spent 8 weeks designing and building the ultimate "Under The Sea" race cars!

RC Car Race Day Competition & Awards Ceremony: Saturday, April 1, 10am-2pm

4452 S Beneva Rd
Sarasota, FL 34233

Parking will be marked | No RSVP required

The RC Custom Car Open is an engineering and design competition for students in grades K-8, organized and led by a high school student committee. Students participate in teams of 2-4 over an 8-week period. As part of the registration fee, teams receive a complimentary membership to the Fab Lab and the opportunity to participate in weekly workshops that teach them how to design, fabricate and customize enhancements for their car!

The program culminates in a design competition and epic two-track race day where winners receive cash and scholarship prizes. Throughout the program, students build technical skills by using high-tech equipment like laser cutters, vinyl cutters, 3D printers and more. Collaboration and innovation allow students to develop life skills like creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking. Join us for a one-of-a-kind program you won't find anywhere else in the region!

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Deb Kabinoff Fund

RC Car Policies & Expectations

General RC Car Policies

  • Teams will be limited to signing up for a TOTAL of 8 workshops over the 8-week program. Teams MUST sign up to attend workshops, NO walk-ins will be permitted. The link to sign up for workshops will be made available at RC Car Orientation. Only student team members may attend workshops.
  • RC Car team members receive two months membership to the Fab Lab to work on their car. To access the lab and work on the car during non-workshop times, teams MUST sign up for a slot. The schedule for open lab hours and the link to sign up will be made available at RC Car Orientation.
  • During RC Car, it is common for students to practice driving outside of the lab. Students should never go outside without a volunteer or staff member. All volunteers are made aware of this rule but please remind your children to find a volunteer to accompany them if they want to test drive their car outside.
  • Additional race-specific guidelines will be provided at RC Car Orientation.

Student Expectations

For each student to have a safe, positive and FUN experience during RC Car, we have established the following expectations:

  1. Walking is our preferred mode of transportation while working in the lab! Please refrain from running.
  2. No food or drink (including candy and gum) is allowed in classroom or machine areas unless agreed upon with staff or volunteers.
  3. The Golden Rule… Treat others as you would like to be treated! This means respecting others' ideas and opinions, respecting others' personal space and keeping your hands to yourself, being kind, considerate and helpful with other racers and volunteers, using appropriate language, etc.
  4. Treat our machines and tools respectfully... like they are your own! The misuse/mistreatment of tools, equipment and machines will not be tolerated.
  5. It's okay if you are confused or don't know how to do something. Just ask for help. We want you to have a great experience!
  6. There may be other programs running concurrently with RC Car. Please be sure to stay with your group at all times.

Three Strikes Policy

To reinforce the student expectations and encourage an appropriate and safe learning environment, we employ the "Three Strikes and You're Out" policy in relation to the above expectations.

  • Strike 1 (Reminder): A reminder of our expectations will be given to the student.
  • Strike 2 (Warning): The student will be removed from RC Car activities for a short period of time.
  • Strike 3 (Action): We will contact you to immediately pick up your child from the lab. Depending on the severity of the behavior, future participation in RC Car may be impacted.

Dress Code

Students should wear comfortable, fitted, casual clothing and CLOSED-TOE and CLOSED-HEEL shoes. Gym or tennis shoes – NO SANDALS or FLIP FLOPS permitted. Loose clothing and jewelry are not permitted for safety purposes and long hair must be secured.


Feel free to pack a snack for your child to enjoy during workshops or other times in the lab. Alternatively, snacks are available for purchase for $1 per snack. Snacks may be enjoyed in common areas. No food or drink (including candy and gum) is allowed in machine areas or by computers. Your child may also bring a water bottle that can be refilled at the lab.

Release Forms

Waiver, Release and Authorization forms are mandatory for your child's participation. You will be required to acknowledge these forms during registration.


You will NOT be charged when adding yourself to the waitlist. Students on the waitlist will be notified in the order they were added to the waitlist if a spot becomes available. We will notify you as early as possible by phone or email if there is an opportunity to move off the waitlist and include instructions on how to make payment.

Cancelations & Refund Policy

To qualify for a full refund, you must cancel your registration 7 days in advance of RC Car Orientation (by January 20).  Cancelations made less than one week out from Orientation will qualify for a 50% refund. Due to the logistics and planning required to put on the RC Car program, refunds after the program has begun (January 29 onwards) are not available. Cancelations must be made in writing to info@suncoastscience.org or by calling 941-840-4394. Cancelations by voicemail will not be accepted.

Meet the Committee

Since its inception, the RC Car program has been designed for students, by students. Meet the 2022-2023 RC Car Executive Committee!

Senior Members: Chris, Daniel, Duncan, Jacob, Landon and Maddox

Junior Members: Adam, Alex, Andrew, Hailie, Josh, Mason, Nico, North and Presley

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2022 RC Custom Car Open!

Click here for the complete list of 2022 winners.
Don't forget to check out the recap video and photo album from the 2022 event!

Suncoast Science Center
4452 S Beneva Road
Sarasota Florida 34233

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