Send STEM K8 students and robot to the world championship!

For: Louisa Boren STEM K8 robotics program
Seattle, WA
Organizer: Louisa Boren STEM K8 families
of $3,500 goal.
Raised by 22 donors
30% Complete
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The Story

Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Students Invited to 2017 VEX Robotics World Championship! Help make it happen.

A team of fifth grade students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 has been invited to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY. This team took home the Washington State VEX IQ competition’s top honor in Ellensburg in early March, qualifying the team for the world championships on April 23-25, 2017.

The Excellence Award was presented to the drivers of Robot 10966C, Zaid Bezzaz, Ryan Colby, and Sampson Lee. The award goes to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high-quality VEX robotics program, taking into consideration a team’s behavior, sportsmanship, and professionalism at the event, in addition to robot design, driving skills, and performance in tournament matches. The approach demonstrated by the STEM K-8 teams in working on their robots and participating in competitions is representative of the school’s project-based learning curriculum, as is the student engineers' ability to clearly articulate the work they put into designing and building their robots.

After support from the school's PTA, it'll take $3,500 to bring this terrific team to the world championships. Costs include a tournament registration fee, travel for the team, their coach, and chaperones, and a place to stay near Louisville.

This is an incredible opportunity for these students, and they know it. Sampson Lee mused early one morning while refining their robot, "Our best challenge this year has been learning about working with people - learning each person's strengths and how to do the best with that. Now we might get to drive 'bots with other kids from around the world!"

In VEX competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in game-based engineering challenges. The VEX IQ Crossover Challenge provides elementary and middle school students with exciting, open-ended robotics and research projects that enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. Two robots compete as an alliance in 60 second teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Additional points are earned through skill tests, documentation reviews, and team member interviews.

But "it's not all about competing with robots," as team member Zaid Bezzaz recognized. "It's about that you have to be organized, you have to cooperate with other teams to make sure it's a good round."

VEX Worlds 2017, presented by the Northrop Grumman and Robotics Education & Competition Foundations, brings together the top 1,400 student-led robotics teams under one roof to celebrate accomplishments and participate with the best teams from around the world. Countries represented at the event include Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and the United States. The team from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is one of three teams to qualify for the elementary school championship from Washington State, and the only team from a Seattle school.

Louisa Boren STEM K-8 was opened as a Seattle Public Schools’ option elementary school in September of 2012. One of the only elementary schools in the Seattle Metro area dedicated to the core subjects of science, technology, engineering and math through project-based learning. The school’s vision is to advance successful, curious, caring, creative learners. A middle school was added in the 2015-16 school year, with full expansion to eighth grade planned for Fall 2017.

Thank you for supporting this team with a dream. To learn about and support more of the amazing things happening at Louisa Boren STEM K-8, visit

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 27, 2017

Posted on March 27, 2017

Great news: we've passed the $1000 mark, which means we're almost 1/3 of the way to our goal of getting STEM K8 students Sam and Zaid and their robot to the world championships! Thanks to everyone who's donated, shared this on social media, and sent well-wishes.Meanwhile, our intrepid robot engineers are deep in their preparations. They crossed two mountain passes this weekend to meet with the four other Washington state teams and the state Robotics Education and Competition Foundation coordinator to prepare for their upcoming trip to the VEX World Championships. The coordinator fired everyone up with info about "Worlds" - strategies for communicating with teams that speak other languages, an invitation to meet with a team of 14 girls coming from Haiti, descriptions of the "parade of nations" (52 nations this year!) that will kick off the competition, advice for how to get the robots to Louisville intact (in your carry-on), and other sage, firm words of advice. While the kids keep fine-tuning their robot's programming and their robot driving skills, the quest for the funds to get them to the championships continues. You can help spread the word: here's a post on the West Seattle Blog about the team and their quest - please share widely!

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