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December 11, 2013

School robotics team gets grant from NASA

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Fundraising efforts for the Otsego 4-H Robotics Team rocketed ahead recently thanks to a grant from NASA.

NASA announced the $5,000 grant to the FIRST Robotics Team 4203, RoboKronos, on Dec. 1. The fundraising effort was spearheaded by team mentor Charles King, 4-H educator Patti Zellmer said.

“We are thrilled (with the award),” she said.

The grant will help pay the team’s registration and meet the remaining $15,000 needed to build the robot and compete at the regional FIRST Robotics competition March 14-15. Celeste Brown Thomas, a team parent volunteer involved with fundraising effort, said the overall goal for the year is $25,000. The effort has passed the 60-percent mark with the NASA grant — the team received $5,000 from Oneonta ultracapacitor-maker, Ioxus, in May and about $6,000 so far from other local fundraising.

“The community has been very supportive,” she said.

This is the third year of competition for the team, which earned the “Rookie All-Star Award” in 2012 and attended the World Championship in St. Louis, Mo. that year.

The team, like others in regional competition, will have six weeks to build its robot when it learns the specifications Jan. 4. There are currently 15 Oneonta High School students on the team.

Anyone wishing to support the effort can mail checks payable to CCE Schoharie and Otsego Counties, with 4-H Robotics on the memo line, to Zellmer at CCE Schoharie and Otsego Counties, 123 Lake St., Cooperstown, NY 13326; or go to the team website, at robokronos.org, and click on the “Donate Now” button.

Non-cash contributions such as food or supplies are also welcome, and will be acknowledged as an “in-kind” donation, Thomas said.