April 24, 2014
6:55 am
RAIN:  7AM to 7AM:  .00"    Month:  4.01”    Year:  10.98”   |  TEMPS:  High: 75  Low: 51

Mtn. Home Bomb Squad in need of funds for trip to NYC

     The Mountain Home Bomb Squad and their robot have been invited to be at the head of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but they want all 21 of the members of the team to be able to take advantage of the experience -- and that will take money.
     The Bomb Squad, which won the 2012 FIRST world championship, was invited to join four other robot-building FIRST teams from across the nation to lead off the historic Macy's parade.   FIRST, means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, according to Mountain Home High School teacher and faculty advisor Jackie Meissner, who says most of the other teams invited are from larger metro areas.
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     The Bomb Squad members went before the Mountain Home School Board last week to discuss the honor and to explain the need for funds so the entire team could make the trip and not just a contingent of two male and two female members of the group and a mentor. The squad members said every member of the team has made important contributions to their success and deserve to take part in the honor.
     The group must build a robot which can travel the 2.5 mile parade route and be capable of shooting confetti at the beginning of the parade and at the parade's end at Harold Square.
     The squad has priced three options to allow the entire team to make the trip. They can go by charter bus for $17,900, by air for $17,500 or $15,300 using a Mountain Home school bus. Air travel with the robot and necessary tools which must accompany the team would mostly likely cause security problems and taking a school bus out of service for the four day trip is not practical, especially since the driver would have to be away from his or her family during the Thanksgiving holiday. So, the squad has chosen the charter bus option with the $17,900 price tag.   The team will travel on Tuesday, get set up on Wednesday, participate in the parade Thursday, see the sights in New York Friday and return to Mountain Home on Saturday.
     The squad outlined some proposed fund raising ideas for the board -- including selling naming rights for the robot for a $5,000 donation which would mean the name of the individual or company would be featured on the robot itself.   For a $1,000 donation, squad members could wear custom-made t-shirts with sponsors' names printed on them. A potential donor could also sponsor a seat on the bus for $500.   Meissner says a "20 is Plenty" campaign is currently underway to help sponsor the team's trip.
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     Those wanting to help the Bomb Squad make the trip can contact Jackie Meissner at 870-424-2747 or send a donation to Meissner's attention, payable to Science and Technology Group, a local 501-C-3 non-profit organization, at 500 Bomber Boulevard, Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653.
Meissner can also be reached by e-mail at jmeissner@mtnhome.k12.ar.us.

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