A local robotics team with about 23 high school students qualified this year for a world competition, but is struggling to fund the trip for all of its members.
TechFire Robotics of York was one of three teams to win a regional competition in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, automatically qualifying for the world competition to be held in St. Louis, Mo., from April 23 to 26.
The team, which competes through FIRST Robotics Competition, hopes to take a bus to the event, and will need to stay in a hotel for the four-night competition. The total cost for the students and their families to go will add up to about $20,000, said Jeannie Bryan, whose son and husband are both a part of the group. About $10,000 of that will cover a bus, and the rest includes lodging for about 60 people, the number of students and family members Bryan said are expected to attend.
Some of the students will be traveling on their own, but the team still hopes to raise some money to offset the cost for the students. It started an online donation account through a website called Gofundme for people willing to support the team, with a goal of raising at least $5,000 through that.
So far, the team raised more than $2,300, but is hoping to have a better picture of available funds by this Sunday, Bryan said.
The team has plenty of experience to draw from for the upcoming event: Many of the team members are seniors who have been competing in robotics competitions for multiple years. And last year, the team went to the world competition and went as far as the quarterfinals.
But the cost of the trip is making it "crunch time" for the team organizers.
"Mentors are already assuming the costs for themselves," Bryan said. "Their first thing is to make sure the students are getting there."
People interested in donating to the team's efforts can visit the Gofundme website or through the team's website, www.techfire225.com.
- Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.