Obviously, moving from St. Pete to NYC introduces students to something else - snow. Laszlo got his first taste of camping in snow through Upper School Service Week, one of his favorite Shorecrest traditions. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park trip is designed to give 11 boys in the senior class an opportunity to camp in the National Park and assist the National Park Maintenance Staff in the opening of Elkmont Campground for the year. The trip is a high school highlight of Laszlo’s.
“It was just a different world. I had never been camping before, and camping in the snow was an interesting thing. We had our fair share of problems we had to solve, but It was a lot of fun. It definitely helped that I was with a bunch of my close friends, it also was cool because I hung out with people who I don’t normally hang out with.”
Part of Laszlo’s team for that trip were Headmaster Mike Murphy and Upper School Science Teacher Erich Schneider. “I’ve talked to Mr. Murphy before of course, because I’ve been here for a really long time, so I know him as the Headmaster, but I don’t know him as the outdoors guy who can sprint up the trails. And then Mr. Schneider being not just the chemistry teacher, but being a person - it’s cool interacting with your teachers as actual people, especially the Headmaster.”
Another experience that taught Laszlo about being a team player, the one he is most well known for, was Upper School Robotics. “‘Intro to computer science and engineering’ was the only technology class available to freshmen in my freshman year. For about half the year we did programming with Java, and for the other half of the year we worked with VEX robotics, the same robots we use for competition.”
Work from his class began to overlap with Shorecrest’s competitive robotics team, and Laszlo joined the team the following year. After he learned every aspect of the robots and competitions, he captained the team his senior year.
The “Tampa Bay Times” caught on to Laszlo’s ability to lead a team and address a crowd last summer when they featured a photo of him participating in Exploratory Lab Boot Camp, a program for college students and high school juniors and seniors to discover career options while learning new tech skills from an international company. They learned about the Internet of Things (IoT) market, designed an IoT product, and pitched it to business leaders.
“There were only three high schoolers there including me,” Laszlo elaborated, ”and I was the youngest one, I was the only junior. The rest were college students. At my age, age is like a rank, but we were all just kind of equals, and we all had our own ideas and we were all working together.”
After the team pooled together their ideas and discussed the pros and cons of each, they settled on a concept Laszlo had - a safety device for bicycles. “I had been almost hit - or hit - by a car at least three times in the three years I had been biking to school. We did some research and found that Florida has the #1 bike / pedestrian fatality rate for the entire country, by far. Our idea was that you have a device you attach to your bike, and a device in cars. When the car gets close to the bike, it will alert the driver that there’s a bike.”