Rookie FIRST Robotics Team Seeks Help With World Finals Trip

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The Hartland FIRST Robotics Team

The Hartland FIRST Robotics Team

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A rookie FIRST Robotics team from Hartland has done the improbable, qualifying for the world finals in St. Louis April 27-30.

Now, the Hartland Electro Eagles just need to raise the money to go — starting with the $5,000 entry fee.

Laura Schrader, the mother of a team member, said she’s sent out letters to companies but worries that there isn’t time to come up with the entry fee,which must be submitted by Thursday, April 14.

Coach Matt Bednarski, an engineer for Magna in Novi, said the team qualified for the world championships by winning “Rookie All Star” awards at two regional events, as well as at the state championships last weekend at Eastern Michigan Univerisity.

The team also was seeded No. 3 at the Kettering University district competition after qualification matches — a rarity for a rookie team.

Schrader said she’s seen the eight members, ages 12 to 17, “grow tremendously technically, personally and as a team,” and exemplify the FIRST Robotics motto of “gracious professionalism.”

The team is a 501(c)3 and is actively seeking deductible donations to attend the world championships — and to keep the program alive for future years.

The funds will be used to improve the technology, brand the team, and support the costs of competition. Donations above $2,000 will earn a place for the donor’s company name on the robot at the televised world competition. Donors are also kept up to date on team progress and receive a certificate of support.

Those with an interest in donating should e-mail frc3536coach@gmail.com for more information or call Bednarski at (248) 255-1063. Checks should be made out to Hartland High School with “robotics team” written on the memo line.

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