"HOUSTON WE HAVE LIFT OFF!!!" These are the words that the Wollongong students of FIRST Robotics Competition team 5985 are hoping to hear.
Team 5985 (Project Bucephalus) is made up of 34 students from 15 high schools. In just 6 weeks, they designed a built a robot to compete in FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international STEM program for high-schools students.
In a stunning upset, 5985 captained the winning alliance of the South Pacific Regional finals on 18 March 2018. As Winners, the team has been offered a place at the FIRST World Championships in Houston in April (yes that’s right April 2018 - less than 4 weeks!!!!)
And that is where we need your help!
The team do not have all of the significant funds available to compete in Houston.
Looking logically we would say “No we don’t have the money” and just focus on celebrating the significant achievement already made. But the robot which was designed, engineered and constructed by the team functioned flawlessly across the competition. And the combined capability of the Pit Crew, Drive, Scouting and Awards teams puts 5985 in the best position possible to be a worthy competitor against the world’s best.
NOW IS THE TIME! And we want to see that our talented and committed team have the maximum exposure to industry and expertise through this Houston competition. The learnings from this experience will be shared with the community, especially the students of the many robotics classes the team runs across the region. 5985 team members will continue on a path which increases their chance of being able to make a difference to the world around us.
What Are We Asking For?
Obviously our GoFundMe target of $7,000 will not pay for a team of 34 kids plus mentors to travel from Australia to the USA! But this amount will cover the entry fee for the competition (approximately $6,500 AUD and freight costs). We are expecting that the championship will cost over $80k to participate so we are working very hard to gain additional corporate sponsorships and families have needed to commit to self-fund the balance.
How Can You Help?
If you can assist financially at no matter what level, we would gratefully accept your donation. As you’d appreciate, time is really against us and we are hoping to secure extra funds ASAP. (Airfares from Australia to the US are just going up by the day at the moment particularly for school holiday travel!!)
And if there are significant donations (over $500) we are very open to working with you to come up with something we can offer in return that is of value. Leave a comment if you would like to discuss this option.
Also we’d love if you could help us spread the word by sharing this campaign.
And if you have kids and you want them to gain exposure to robotics in a fun way, check out our robotics program at www.projectb.net.au. Classes run throughout the Illawarra, as well as the Shoalhaven and Narellan. Participating in these programs helps the team, and also allows the teenagers in 5985 to extend their impact through mentoring and inspiring other kids.
And thank you for reading our story. We hope that you have been inspired in some way by the enormous capability of our children.
See our story from the local paper The Mercury.
Check out our new video - "More Than Just Robots"
Follow our journey on our Facebook page.
- jack shannon
- Julie Chapman
- Ben Chapman
- Michelle King
- rayne liu