On Saturday 21 March the home school robotics team, ‘Free Range Robotics’, competed in the New Zealand National Championships of the “Vex Robotics 2009 Competition” against high school teams from various parts of New Zealand.
The competition brief was to design and build a robot to play a game called Elevation, in which the robot collects three-inch cubes and puts them into a variety of ‘goals’. The game is one of strategy as well as designing, driving, building and programming skills.
Free Range Robotics came up from behind to come joint FIRST with Avondale College!!!
The tournament first prize is the right to compete in the World Championships in Dallas at the end of April 2009, as well as airfares paid for six team members.
These teenagers have done something remarkable by winning the New Zealand Championship at Massey University without the financial backing or support of a school. They are a group of home-educated individuals who, with the support of dedicated parents, have worked together as a team to design, construct and programme a remote-controlled robot to take part in the game. They have done everything from robot design and building, fundraising, PR, uniform design, programming… You name it they have done it.
They have been told they have a fair chance of doing well in the World Championships. But because they do not have the backing of a school or a major sponsor, raising finances for their team to go is a very real challenge. They are now working on fundraising to pay for the rest of the trip expenses and for more team members to go. Unfortunately the dream of the whole team going is just a dream. But the more team members who can go, the stronger the team will be. Check out their website at : http://www.robotics.org.nz
The team is now working on fundraising, and they are also looking for sponsors.
** If you know of any source of sponsorship for the team can you let us know?
** Also, if you would like to congratulate the team and encourage them please do – they would very much appreciate your encouragement. Please send a reply to me that I can forward to the team to go on the website.
Thanks.Stephanie for this report.