ECHS robotics team fundraises for championships

MANCHESTER — A rookie robotics team from East Catholic High School overcame a time and experience deficit to take first place at a southern Connecticut competition last month and is raising money to compete in the New England championships.

 

Aetos Dios, or Eagle of Zeus, is comprised of 12 students, five of whom are foreign exchange students. They had only six weeks between forming the team and their first competition to build a robot that could move and carry out tasks.

With the help of six adult mentors — and the patience of their principal, who let them in and out of the school building on his own time — the team was able to place first in a preliminary round and 14th overall in qualifying matches. The team also won two additional awards: the Rookie Highest Seed award and the Rookie All-Star Award.
All-star is an understatement considering the logistical obstacles that Aetos Dios has faced. Registration alone for the event cost $6,000. Since the team formed right before competition season, it had no funding going in. The team was able to find generous companies, Argosy Foundation and Space Fitters LLC, to cover the cost, but each event comes with a similar price tag.
Price aside, finding a meeting space poses unique challenges, as well. The group currently meets in an East Catholic classroom, but eventually it would like to be able to utilize a larger space and recruit more team members.

 

“Right now, we’re just doing whatever we can to get to the next competition,” says Heather Regan, an adult mentor for the group.

The registration fees include a building kit for groups, but any add-ons or damages are on the group to address. Currently, mentors have been paying for these out of their own pockets, according to Regan. Their next competition is this weekend in Hartford.

Aetos Dios has qualified to compete in the New England championships which will take place in Boston the weekend of April 11, but it needs all the community support it can get to compete there.

The group has a GoFundMe page set up for donations. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raises $2,205 or its $7,500 goal. Interested donors can visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/aetosdios7153

Donations may also be sent by checks payable to: ECHS-FRC Robotics Team 7153, 115 New State Road, Manchester CT 06042 Attn: Helen Tully.

 

Originally published by the Journal Inquirer

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