With a little luck and $10,000, The Crazy Pizza People are hoping to win a little slice of immortality in the world of LEGO robotics this April.
Comprised of eight students from Crissman Elementary and Malow Junior High and a robot named Granny, The Crazy Pizza People LEGO robotics team is hoping to compete in the 2013 FIRST World Festival in St. Louis.
FIRST--For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology--is an organization founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting, mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life-skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
At the start of each school year, teams around the world are given a robot challenge and research project. The teams then have three months to build a functioning robot using the LEGO Mindstorm NXT system and program it to perform specified missions independently of a human controller.
They must also complete their research project, which includes designing a solution to the problem identified by the research and developing a presentation to explain it.
The Crazy Pizza People, which includes fourth through seventh-grade students, won Grand Champion status at both the regional Thunderquest tournament and the Michigan White Lake State Tournament in 2012, earning them the coveted invitation to represent Michigan at the 2013 FIRST World Festival in St. Louis.
And this is where The Crazy Pizza People could use your support.
Coaches Pascal and Amy Roy estimate it will cost approximately $10,000 for the students and parent chaperones to travel to the tournament. Out of some 20,000 teams worldwide, only 100 are invited to compete in the world festival, making this truly a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the students, the coaches say.
Those wishing to learn more about the team or make a contribution, can do so at http://www.crissmanlegoleague.org/. All donors will be recognized in the Crissman school newsletter and contributors of $500 or more, will be recognized on the team's shirts at the international competition.
Contributions are tax deductible.