Shari Hanauer, Florida Crystals’ Director of Consumer Products, Shares Automation Advancements with Local Middle School Students

From left: Polo Park Middle School science teacher Roy Bernstein; Shari Hanauer, Director, Consumer Products Distribution; and Polo Park engineering teacher and Robotics Club sponsor David Grad.

Florida Crystals is proud to continue our long-running support of the youth of Palm Beach County in the communities where we grow our sugar, rice and sweet corn. Through our ongoing partnership with the Palm Beach County School District, we have shared our many agricultural career opportunities with students throughout our area, developing local talent and engaging young minds.

Shari Hanauer shared our history and technological future Dec. 10 with about two dozen students in the Robotics Club at Polo Park Middle School in Wellington, which is about halfway between our western Palm Beach County farms and our downtown West Palm Beach headquarters.

“It was a fabulous opportunity to speak to these young engineers regarding automation in the workplace,” Shari said.

The club includes three teams comprised of some of the brightest young engineering minds in Palm Beach County, with the school over the past decade achieving several major regional and state wins in the competitive FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments. The Robotics Club, known as the Cyber Stallions, is led by engineering teacher David Grad and science teacher Roy Bernstein.

Shari answered students’ questions about how we use technology to grow, harvest, mill, refine and transport our products.

The students were particularly excited to learn about the laser-guided vehicle (LAV) system we use in our Distribution Center. From that facility, we ship thousands of pounds of products per day across the country to some of our largest customers. The LAVs operate based on incoming orders from our SAP system.

The presentation was especially meaningful to the students because they were working on competition-level projects that challenge the club members to find solutions to common shipping issues.

“The students in the robotics program at Polo Park are forward thinkers and enthusiastic about their projects for the upcoming competition,” Shari said.