As the Shelton Predators’ robotics team prepares for battle in the First Lego League World Championship this April in Detroit, supporters are seeking the public’s help in defraying some of the travel costs.

A GoFundMe page has been established for the Predators, which earned the World Championship invitation by winning the state FLL title in December. The GoFundMe page states that a “trip like this is very costly for our program and any financial support that you can provide would go a long way toward making this experience a positive one for these kids.”

Overall, the trip will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

The Predators, made up of seventh graders Finn Riddle and Shreya Yadav, sixth graders Jackson Guerra, Danny Hilser, Aarav Makadia, Krishiv Patel and Matthew Quevedo, and fifth grader Evan Pilkinton, not only won the state title but also took home the event’s Robot Performance Award for the highest score.

“There are 204 teams in Connecticut who compete in nine different venues to get down to 48 teams to compete in states,” said Laurie Vogl, the head FLL adviser. “One advances to worlds, and that one team is our Predators.”

Vogl and Predators team members were honored during the Board of Education meeting Jan. 22. The team will be recognized by Mayor Mark Lauretti in a ceremony in his office on Jan. 30.

“We all love this program,” said team member Krishiv Patel. “It has helped us all in our studies … academically and socially.”

Shelton robotics has been participating in the First Lego League robotics competition for 16 years. Vogl said the competition is designed for students in grades five to eight to give them an after-school opportunity to explore their interests in STEM education.

“We participate annually in the international FLL competition and service about 40 students per year associated with five teams. Our main objective is to partner interested students with volunteer mentors, teachers and parents to work collaboratively on projects involving robotics and research project presentations,” states the GoFundMe page.

This year’s theme is “City Shaper,” and students have been researching ways to solve real-world problems associated with public spaces and buildings within their community. More information on this challenge can be found on the FLL website.

The page states that the “Predators’ project tackled the problem of temperature issues in older buildings by building a cost and energy efficient blind to heat and cool down buildings. They are very excited and are continuing to prepare on a regular basis for this prestigious competition.”

brian.gioiele@

hearstmediact.com