RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Thomas Jefferson High School robotics team is just days away from international competition after earning second place over the weekend in the ‘FIRST Chesapeake Robotics District Competition Championship.’
The silver medal win qualified the team, VikingBots, to advance to the FIRST Robotics World Championship Competition in Detroit.
“It feels amazing because one it’s something that this school’s team really hasn’t done before,” said Thomas Jefferson High School sophomore Eddy Munoz. “They’ve never made it this far. It feels amazing because being accepted to Detroit is kind of being the top of the top.”
The VikingBots competed against 58 other high school teams from Virginia, DC and Maryland in Fairfax.
“If we do get to go I am looking forward to the competition,” said Thomas Jefferson High School freshman Langston Gaetano. “I’m looking forward to meeting new teams. Talking to people.”
Now the 25 students on the team need your help to enter the competition in Detroit April 25-27.
The team must raise $15,000 to cover the registration fee, transportation, hotel stay, and meals.
The community and businesses have donated to the team’s GoFundMe page but parents tell 8News they are still a few thousand dollars short to cover all expenses.
“Travel in a bus but possibly other ways because of the logistics of getting there early,” Dina Weinstein said. “Fixing the robot. You’re not allowed to touch it in between competitions. Lodging and food for over 25 people.”
Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation told 8News that they will match the next $1,500 dollars the students raise.
If you would like to donate to the team’s GoFundMe page, click here.