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Help Team Duct Tape Get to FIRST World Champs

$2,185 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 11 days


Team #2845 Team Duct Tape
is a FIRST Tech Challenge youth robotics team in Tampa, FL, now in their 11th season. Throughout the year they brainstorm, design, and collaborate to build a  technically challenging robot to compete in the First Tech Challenge (FTC) level of FIRST Robotics.   FTC is an international competition fostering the future minds and leaders in Science and Technology. Most of the students on Team Duct Tape are new this year, and have never participated in a FIRST program.

Our Team
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Team Duct Tape is a community based team, operating as an education program of the nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation  (FCDI) .  The team meets in FCDI's new public Fab Lab in a mall currently under redevelopment as a mixed use city center.  Team members range in age from 12 to 16.  As a community team, Team Duct Tape relies completely on donations and sponsorships  to fund their season, covering everything from annual registration fees, league fees,  build materials and parts,  food and more. 

Team members hail from several area schools, and contribute a lot of their time volunteering at events, helping other teams, and providing outreach at the Fab Lab.  They'll be helping build new teams for students in the under-served area of the mall, providing mentoring and education support.

Team Duct Tape Qualifies for Florida State Championship!

Through their hard work and dedication throughout the season TDT earned the Connect Award  at the R.O.B.O.T. League Championship for their outreach to others, including helping teams in the Florida Panhandle Aerocoast League after Hurricane Michael.  Earning the Connect Award qualified the team to advance to the State Finals.

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TDT Qualifies for the FIRST Tech Challenge International Championship!

In late February, TDT traveled to Jacksonville, Florida for the Florida FIRST Tech Challenge Championship, where they competed with the top 48 other teams from around the state.  There, they earned the Connect Award again, becoming just one of seven teams in the state - out of nearly 200 teams - to earn a spot in the international  FIRST Tech Challenge Championship in Houston, TX. April 17-20, 2019.

Only 2.5% of FTC teams in the United States, and 5% of teams worldwide, are selected to compete in the FIRST Tech Championship so this is a tremendous accomplishment for TDT!

We need your help!

At the international FIRST Tech Challenge Championship, the team will have an opportunity to network, collaborate, and compete with teams from around the country and the globe. While the international event is a wonderful opportunity and honor, and one the team is excited about, attending the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship incurs a $2000 registration fee, plus the costs of airfare, hotel and lodging, amounting to over $1000 per family.

The team is seeking support from friends, family, and the community to support these bright young minds as they compete at the next level. this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these young adults. Any support you can offer will be put to work wisely and truly appreciated.

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It's Tax Deductible!

Team Duct Tape is a community based team, operating as an education program of the nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation  (FCDI) so all donations are 100% tax deductible.


Team Duct Tape contributes a lot to their community, helping other youth, providing outreach at education, tech and industry events throughout Tampa Bay,  and volunteering at the Fab Lab.   Now we're asking the community to contribute to them, and  help them get the most they can out of the Championship, where not only do they get to pit their engineering efforts against the best teams from around the world, but they also get to learn at the FIRST Conference,  and the Innovation Faire, and make connections that can help them in their future academic and career goals.  

By helping these students attend the World Championships, you will be furthering their STEM education in the most exciting and inspiring way possible.  Competing with and against the brightest minds from all across the world is a life changing experience. 

Thank you!
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One of the attributes that makes FIRST Tech Challenge such a great project-based learning platform is the mentor aspect of the program. Tapping into the expertise and experience of professionals in engineering and tech fields is something TDT has always made a priority, because the opportunity to learn from others is valuable on many levels, from improved academic experiences to providing perspectives on career choices.

Student team members make the final decisions in their design, build and programming, and do all their own work. But weighing in with mentors with professional know-how in coding, mechanical design, machining, electronics, CAD, public speaking and more gives them a broader palette from which to create, and a wider perspective for approaching the challenges they encounter.

This season, Team Duct Tape members conferred with mentors ranging from retired Boeing engineers, machinists, Cigar City Toastmasters, audio-visual professionals, and electrical and mechanical engineers. These mentors help them understand the reasons behind different design or construction options, common practices in business and industry today, and the importance of solid communications skills .

This is a high level, real world education students rarely get, especially with the added benefit of the real time application of the skills they're learning. Team Duct Tape members know that a lot of what happens on the playing field might be out of their hands - alliance challenges, unexpected technical issues, and sometimes just bad luck. But they also know that the one thing that is always in their hands is their character, and how they professionally respond to challenges, skills they often learn from their mentors.

There's a difference between winning on the field and succeeding as a team, and as individuals. They won't always win matches, but they can always be successful people. Having living, engaged role models - several of whom are investing their own time and money to accompany the team to Houston - is a priceless gift to our students' futures, and to ours, as we look to the future leaders and critical thinkers our nation needs.

Thank you for helping Team Duct Tape continue on the path to success.
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One of the tools that Team Duct Tape has learned to use over the last couple of years is 3D printing. This year, the team's expertise in 3D printing is evident, as students have designed and printed everything from their Rover Ruckus marker to their battery case and other elements of their robot.

Learning skills like 3D printing CAD design are critical 21st century workforce skills that Team Duct Tape students are mastering while still in high school, giving them a serious competitive edge as they move into college and trades.

Your support helps the team get the most out of this valuable hands on learning opportunity , and to learn from others at the international competition level at the Houston FIRST Championship. Thank you!
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Team Duct Tape has always put character and education above competition, focusing on FIRSTs central tenet of Gracious Professionalism, that calls upon team members to be people of integrity and professionalism, and to take ownership over the design and construction of the best robot they can create.

While TDT is mentor supported, it is student led, with team members making their own decisions on design and engineering ideas, with input from professionals in STEM fields that team members can take into consideration in their design process. Sometimes team member ideas work, and sometimes they don't. The beauty of the FIRST Tech Challenge program is the iterative learning experience it makes possible, with students able to completely redesign their robots between meets and at different levels of competition. This means they can apply lessons learned in real time and see real time results.

As TDT has progressed through their season, they've created three different variations on their design and are currently embarked on a 4th redesign, as they work to improve competitiveness for the Houston Championship. Throughout the season, they document their design - and redesign - process in their Engineering Notebook, which is a critical component for judged awards.

The opportunity for the team to put their final design ideas to the test at the Houston Championship creates the ultimate capstone project for the team members. Your support makes it possible for team members to reap the full benefits of this signature experience and to bring home the maximum lessons learned from this great engineering challenge season.
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Team Duct Tape is highly collaborative and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. The team always looks to see how others solve similar problems and seeks to learn from those with more expertise. This season, they've worked with Toastmasters International to help improve their interview skills and consulted with other FIRST Tech Challenge teams, like VISION and The Antidote, whose solutions to the Rover Ruckus challenge they admired and wanted to learn more about. They work with subject matter experts in CAD and mechanical design to learn how to engineer a better robot, and apply lessons learned at every opportunity. Your support will help TDT apply the skills and knowledge they've gained this season at the highest competition level, for an experience that should serve them well into their futures. Thank you!
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$2,185 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 11 days
Funds raised will benefit:
Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, Inc
Certified Charity
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Odessa, FL
EIN: 473887593
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