Come September, the RoboLancers might cease to exist.
Central High School‘s award-winning robotics team could become one of the many casualties of the Philadelphia School District‘s budget crisis, wrote coach Dan Ueda on the RoboLancers blog. In his open letter to the city, he urges Philadelphians to contact their local politicians and to return control of the state-controlled School District to the city.
Today, Mayor Michael Nutter announced that he would borrow $50 million in order to get schools open on time. It’s not clear yet how this will affect the RoboLancers or the conditions Ueda wrote about in his letter.
From Ueda’s letter:
This story is about how a robotics team of 80 students that has won multiple awards for their outreach, teaching Philadelphia students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), that has traveled to international competitions, that raised over $30,000 in one week for a championship in St. Louis, that runs the popular Philly Robotics Expo during Philly Tech Week, and that sends 90% of its seniors on to engineering undergraduate programs, may not exist this year.
Please Philadelphia, I want to teach your kids. I want my robotics program to continue thriving. I want my students to keep getting jobs as freshmen in robotics labs at Drexel. I want to help make this a better city to live in. But I need your help. Contact the Mayor, your council person, the Governor, and tell them to support your students, your schools, and your teachers. Tell them to stop holding our children’s future ransom, to give them every opportunity they deserve. Tell them to give control of the School District back to the city.