Hi, my name is Mike Reilly, and I am the "coach" for this amazing all-girls underwater robotics team, the "Sea Cows"! In their first year they won the regional Engineering Award. In their second year, they took third place at their regional event and qualified for the World Championships! The problem: they could not afford to go. We need to change that for this year!
Our school is 40% Free and Reduced lunch, which means about 40% of the school experiences financial hardship, and our team makeup reflects this percentage. Therefore, big trips like this that come up at the last minute are even more challenging to afford, and the girls did not get to go. (By all projections, they would have been in the Top 5 in the World rankings.)
The girls have worked hard, and HAVE QUALIFIED for the World Championships AGAIN, and it's my mission to help make this trip happen! I want to reward their determination and perseverance, but also want them to be inspired at the next level, to fan the flames and push them farther than they thought. There are no seniors on this team, so we are not only inspiring these girls, but helping them to inspire others! I've won a few awards for supporting girls in STEM, and having successful peers become the messenger is key to getting even more girls involved in STEM.
Our biggest challenge is that issue of travel with short-term notice: we only have about 4 weeks notice to fly from Atlanta to Denver. When writing this summary we saw flights, hotels, van rental and other costs approaching $10,000 for the whole group. All funds would be used for the group to travel. Estimated costs:
- Flights $4000
- Hotels $3000
- Van/transportation $1200
- Extra baggage fees for the robot, tools, etc $500
- Food, unknowns $1000
If we are lucky enough to raise more than our goal, we would invest those funds into STEM activities in our community that our "Sea Cows" could run for other young girls, especially for recruiting girls that cannot typically afford STEM camps and other similar enrichment.
I've never used GoFundMe before, as a teacher or any other purpose, but these girls deserve every effort I can give. We appreciate any help YOU can offer! Help me to create some of the STEM leaders of tomorrow. Thank you!