Dayton robotics team lands funding for championship

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DAYTON -- An $8,500 contribution from Washington FIRST Robotics put the Dayton High School robotics team a bit closer to competition in St. Louis, Mo., later this month.

The Dayton School Board voted 3-1 to support four students and their coach to travel to the world competition, with board member David Bailey voting no. Board member Steve Martin was absent for the special meeting Wednesday night.

Superintendent Doug Johnson said this morning he believes there will be enough funding to meet the $18,000 needed for the team to attend the competition.

Johnson said corporate sponsors, as well as local individuals and businesses, have already stepped forward to offer help to the unexpected champions.

The rookie team found itself feeling outclassed when it went to the regional competition of U.S. FIRST Robotics last weekend, and were stunned to come home as qualifiers for the national competition.

The ag metals students' small but quick and maneuverable machine caught the eye of the Skunkworks team from Aviation High School near Seattle, and the Spuds team from Boise's technology magnet school, and the three-team alliance was able to win the regional meet, where 48 teams competed.

Steve Burke, a certified business advisor with the Small Business Development Center and a mentor and coach of the Aviation High School Team, attended the board meeting and described the U.S. FIRST program and what the students can expect in St. Louis.

Members of the team are Lincoln Riley, James Costello, Alex Eaton, and Demetri Tziouvars. Their coach is vocational agriculture teacher Steve McLean.

To learn more about the Robotics competition visit www.usfirst.org.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

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