Robot, Caretakers Need Traveling Money - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Robot, Caretakers Need Traveling Money

Anna HS students raising funds for competition trip



    Robot, Caretakers Need Traveling Money
    Anna HS

    by Bruce Felps

    Students involved with the Anna High School robotics team built a better mousetrap. Now they need to travel to Orlando, Fla., to put that gizmo up against other top-notch mousetraps — micetrap? — from across the country.

    Actually, the team built a kind of robot, and it turned out to be the best high school robot in Texas after it won the Texas BEST State/Regional competition, um, recently.

    The win qualified the team for the Robotics Nationals, which takes place next month at the Disney ESPN Sports Center, but as things stand now there are about 50,000 reasons why they might not be able to challenge for the U.S. title.

    All 50,000 reasons have George Washington’s face on them. The team needs that much in cash to send its 35 members — and one kid in the fifth grade — about five sponsors-slash-chaperons, and their little mechanical buddy to the competition.

    They’ve run a silent auction, conducted a bake sale, served up a fundraiser dinner, hit up the usual community benefactors, set up a PayPal account for donations, but Anna is just so large, or small, and they still haven’t reached the goal.

    One community member took it on herself to drum up some publicity in the press, but alas, she said, Dallas’ only daily bagged on two interviews. Now she’s reaching out to other media outlets, and who could ignore such a genuine and heartfelt e-mailed plea as, “They have tried every type of fundraiser, but out here in Anna, we get very little response outside of our own small community. Is there any way Fox 4 would run a story on these deserving kids?”

    Wait, what? Fox 4? Forget about it.

    Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. There was a kid in high school everybody called “Tin Man” because he looked like the Tin Man, but that’s as close as he got to any robotics stuff.