With just over a month to finish their preparations, the Herman Ridder Junior High School 98 robotics team is utilizing all resources to insure their victory at the FIRST LEGO League Asian Open Championship in April. To assist them in their quest for success, NYC FLL head referee Richard Wong recently dropped by the school to help the team with their moves.
Striving to achieve the desired 400 points, a perfect score that would allow the “Ridder Kids” an opportunity to compete at the championship against the best FLL teams from around the globe, they listened and learned.
But this fortunate visit wasn't the only support the team received lately.
After seeing the group on television, a New Jersey family contacted team consultant Gary Israel to make a donation.
“I traveled out to their home and found to my amazement a basement full of LEGO pieces that are now at the Herman Ridder School ,” he said.
The “Ridder Kids” also received two boxes of magazines from Make , a publication that works to inspire people to explore the realms of science, technology and engineering.
“It's amazing how the community gets together to help this group out,” Israel said.
While support from donors as far away as Florida and Toronto is making the journey to Tokyo seem more probable, Israel said an additional $15,000 of the trip's $30,000 price tag is still needed.
The 10 attending team members will leave for Japan on April 25, and be in charge of creating a multi-functional robot equipped to complete a 13-project optical course.
They will be judged on the robot's ability to complete all of the assigned projects in a timely manner.
“They'll be able to use the skills they're developing now when they go to high school and throughout the rest of their lives,” Israel said.
While the “Ridder Kids” came in first place at the 2007 NYC FLL Championship, leading them to the FLL World Festival in Atlanta , this will be their first time attending the Asian Open Championship.
“Wouldn't it be nice to have some positive news,” Israel stated about ensuring this once in a lifetime opportunity for those he calls “the top kids in the Bronx .”
Before their trip overseas, the “Ridder Kids” will participate in the first ever NYC FLL Expo, which will be held at the Javits Center on Sunday, April 6.
To help, contact Israel at (845) 893-0327 or firstname.lastname@example.org .