Guest Post by Loudoun Chamber President & CEO Tony Howard
[photo via Loudoun Times-Mirror article, here] “Sen. Tim Kaine chats with sixth-grader Ananya Rajkumar of the Virginia Academy of Science during a visit by Kaine to CS Monroe Technology School in Leesburg April 7. He addressed the robotics team’s victory and roadblocks.Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser”
Chamber Seeks Loudoun Business Community’s Support for Student Robotics Team that Had Robot, Computers Stolen
The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce is rallying the County’s business community to step up to support a student robotics team that, after finishing second at a prestigious regional robotics competition, had their van with their winning robot, laptops and other vital equipment stolen from a hotel parking lot in Knoxville, Tenn.
Comprised of Loudoun County students from CS Monroe Technology Center and the Loudoun Academy of Science, the RoboLoCo team placed second in the FIRST Robotics Smoky Mountains Regional in Knoxville last weekend. The performance qualifies the team of 20 talented students for the FIRST World Championships, held April 22nd through the 25th in St. Louis. The team also was honored with the Judges’ Award last weekend, an impressive accomplishment for one of the newest and smallest teams in the Regional competition.
In spite of this terrible setback, these students have vowed to keep fighting and to compete in St. Louis later this month. They have received permission from U.S. FIRST, the organization that oversees the competition, to enter their alternate robot in the World Championships and they are already hard at work to recreate their winning formula. Orbital ATK has generously donated the entry fee for the competition, and Northern Virginia Community College’s SySTEMic Solutions program has offered laptops and robotic parts to help RoboLoCo participate. But the RoboLoCo team needs an additional $15,000 to rebuild and ship their robot to St. Louis!
“To help these talented Loudoun County Public School students overcome this terrible turn of events, and to show the world that Loudoun County’s business community is behind them, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce is pledging a $1,500 donation to the RoboLoCo team. In addition, we invite the members of the Loudoun County Chamber to consider a donation that will enable RoboLoco to compete and to represent our community on the World stage,” said Chamber President Tony Howard.
The Loudoun Education Foundation is accepting online donations to support RoboLoCo here. On the payment screen, under “Add special Instructions to the seller,” please add “Loudoun Chamber Robo Loco” so that your donation is placed in a dedicated account for the team.
“In addition to helping a group of talented and committed local students overcome a terrible event to achieve their dreams of matching their skill and talents against peers from around the world, our goal is to send the unmistakable message that this Loudoun County community will pull together to support each other in the face of adversity,” Howard added.