Local Robotics Team Reaches Funding Goal for World Championship

Written By: Isabel Garcia
Notre Dame Robotics FOLO

April 20, 2017

ELMIRA N.Y. (WENY) -- The Notre Dame High School Robotics team is less than a week away from the world competition in St. Louis, Missouri and the group is gearing up for the big leagues!

     Earlier this year, the Notre Dame High School Robotics Team won the regional competition in Rochester, awarding them a bid to worlds.

     The group of students will make their way to St. Louis, Missouri by bus next week for the championship, and emotions are mounting!

     "We're just so excited to be here! None of us have ever had this opportunity before. And it still hasn't hit me and it still hasn't hit anybody really yet but I think once we get there the energy level will just go even higher and it will just be amazing to compete," says Paco Rilloraza, a senior team member.

     "Just a whole bunch of excitement. A little bit of stress with school and everything but we're really excited about it!" says sophomore Adrian Haluska.

     The team, named "Electric Fire" (also Team #3799) needed to raise nearly $30,000 for the whole trip. Between corporate sponsors and a very successful GoFundMe campaign, the community came through to support.

     "The outreach we received from the local community was huge. People donated above and beyond what we ever thought they would and new companies have reached out and have donated to us as well," says Robert Stanley, Director of Technology at Notre Dame High School.

      "Thank you so much to the community for everything that they have done. It really gave us a confident boost. It really helped us out a lot," says John Bernataviz, a sophomore team member.

     Some students say the support is helpful, not only for the team, but also the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (also known as STEM) industry.

     "It gives me hope that they [contributors] will continue to fund not just our program - because we can always use extra funds! - but it gives me faith that stuff like this will continue to be supported in this community," Rilloraza says.

     Worlds takes place next Wednesday through Saturday and the team is preparing for a brand new set of challenges.

     "So we start all over again. We start with a qualification matches. We'll get paired with a new alliance and then we'll try to compete as far as we can. If we make it to the championships, we go to the White House if we win!" Stanley explains.

     Stay with WENY News for continuing coverage as the World Competition nears!