Steel Hawks launch Kickstarter campaign

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Photo </a><figcaption id=Photo by Junwoo Shin

THE STEEL Hawks have kicked off their year with an online fundraiser. Using Kickstarter, the team has a goal of raising $8,000 to bolster the team’s participation in robotics competitions.

Parent Theresa Wong started this project to raise money from students, faculty, and other potential donors outside the school community.

Although this online fundraiser provides a great opportunity to reach out to a great number of sponsors, the Kickstarter program does have its drawbacks: it follows a strict policy of escrow. That is, if the goal of raising $8,000 is not achieved by December 31, the money will be refunded back to the sponsors.

As great an amount as $8,000 dollars seems, in comparison to the actual prices necessary to compete annually, it’s only a small portion of an immense pie. Senior Neil Chen commented, “We recognize that the amount of money our Kickstarter is aiming for is massive, but in the context of robotics it’s only part of what we need.”

Assistant Principal Susan Brustein noted, “the annual cost is $30,000 to register for competitions and purchase the kits crucial to constructing the robots.”

Robotics team coach Joel Heitman hopes to arrange at least two competitions, but entry fees alone present obstacles in that they sum a grand total of $10,000.

As an incentive, Mr. Heitman claims, “For every 100 dollars raised, I will pour a bucket of water over my head. Not just water, but ice water.”

Though the school budget does not financially support the Robotics Team, school support won the Steel Hawks $5000 through the Rockwell Automation Competition.

Ms. Brustein said, “In the sense that we are a school community, we support one another.”

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