The Lake Highlands Robotics Club has qualified to attend the World Championships in Anaheim, California, an achievement that puffs them with pride. Now they’re working to raise the $4000 it will take to get them there before the competition begins April 19th.

Kim Swarm began sponsoring the Lake Highlands Robotics Club in September of 2009 as an after-school activity for students who like engineering, robotics “or just building things.” The former software engineer teaches engineering and automated manufacturing to grades 9-12, and her classroom and lab are at the LH Freshman Center.

With some full-hustle fundraising, Kim and her teams were able to acquire additional equipment and become certified as a Technology Student Association (TSA) chapter. Juniors Nathan Bucki and Jeffrey Bradshaw won the TSA Region 10 qualifier, TSA State Championship and TSA National Championship in 2011. Winning the Excellence Award at the DFW Gateway VEX Robotics Competition February 25th was the icing on the cake. Nothing but money will keep them from the World Championships.

“I’ve never been to California,” Jeff told me. “I am looking forward to meeting people from all around the world and representing the great state of Texas.”

“Our biggest challenge will be making our robot work consistently and figuring out how to accomplish the task at hand.”

Added Nathan, “I love being able to create something from scratch, especially as I gain more experience and can design, build and program robots much faster. Getting others interested in the club and finding people who are dedicated enough to put in the time it takes to build a good robot is a huge challenge.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing what other kids around the world have created and how we match up against the other teams,” continued Nathan. “It is always fun to see the creative solutions that other teams come up with to fix various problems and increase performance.”

If you or your organization would like to support Nathan, Jeffrey, Ms. Swarm and the rest of the LH Robotics Club, you can send a check payable to LH Robotics Club to LH Freshman Center, 10200 White Rock Trail, Dallas, TX 75238.

As far as I know, there aren’t any World Champ trophies in the LH trophy case. This may just be a first. Here’s hoping.