TechTV’s “Tech Live” will have a feature on the John O’Connell H.S. Boilermakers robotics team tonight. I helped these guys get the word out and raise some cash so they could attend the USFIRST nationals in Atlanta later this month (they reached their fundraising goal and will be attending the competition, by the way, woo hoo!).
They emerge from the Mission district of San Francisco.
The mean streets. The last place in the world you’d expect technological terror to rear its ugly head.
Their creations have hearts as black as coal.
They shoot baskets with a cold efficiency that would make Doctor J eat his undershorts.
They are: The Boilermakers.
And they need your help.
The Boilermakers are a competitive high school robotics team that did so unexpectedly well in competitions that they basically bankrupted their program. They’re trying to raise ten grand in the next six weeks to take the team to the national championships in Atlanta. I volunteered to set up a Web site for them and to help with the PayPal integration to make it super easy for people to donate to help them out.
If you’ve spent more than a second grumbling about how screwed-up our education funding priorities are, well, here’s your chance to do something about it. And if you ever harbored a fantasy that maybe, just maybe, our educational system would someday spawn a race of technological super-villains, well, this could just be the super-villain class of 2008[*].
At the very least, pop by their site and check out the cool photo albums of teen roboticists out there, robotting it up. And if you’ve got a spare couple of bucks or a hundred, toss some cash their way, they’ve worked hard for it and it would be an awful shame if they couldn’t get to the nationals because they can’t raise a few thousand bucks.
[*]NOTE: Facts embellished to attract prospective donors. Program makes no guarantee of quality or quantity of future super-villains produced. Offer not valid in all 50 states (sorry, Tennessee!).