Getting to the Championship · 25 April 2012

Logo by Zach Wynakos

The goal of going to the championships was set in the early meetings.  Each time the students met, they talked about that goal.  And they worked toward it learning as much as they could about robotics and the competition without any assets besides an excited mentor who had helped start many teams.  The students prepared in every way possible except in securing financial support for the trip.  So when Team 4089 Stealth Robotics qualified, it did not have the funds to go.

Not everybody has parents, mentors, and others with deep pockets, but Stealth Robotics does have a few benefactors.  Which is fortunate because the students only had three weeks to get the funding for the trip.  A team of students presented to the local Rotary Club, which came up with a couple pledges.  Not enough for the trip, but the benefactors were confident the students would raise the funds after the fact and fronted much of the costs for the trip.  While this was great for our team, it is not a good model to follow.

Most rookie teams do not have enough benefactors or parents with deep enough pockets to pay the cost of such a huge endeavor as the FRC Championships.  A lesson that I would pass on to any team desiring to go to the Championships is to start fund raising as soon as you decide to have a team.  There are lots of fund raising efforts you could do.  Most people would suggest only doing big fund raisers saying that car washes and other small income efforts will not get the job done.  At least not very quickly.  However, your team needs to do what is best in your community to raise the funds.  So concentrate on what you can do for others such as advertising and promotion of local businesses who support your efforts.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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