Londonderry High School’s robotics team, the PVC Pirates, are known for regularly putting on great performances at competitions and providing students with an outlet that lets them further explore interests in engineering and technology. As enriching as the program is; building robots and traveling to competitions is not a cheap process. As such, the PVC Pirates recently held a recycling drive in the Londonderry Middle School parking lot on July 7 to help raise money for future endeavors.
The fundraiser was done in conjunction with FUNDrive, a collaborative service that helps prospective organizations advertise the fundraiser before gathering various recyclable items. These things are then sold during the fundraising event for profit. It took place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The hot summer day saw several team members of the PVC Pirates gathering the likes of accessories, clothing, shoes, small electronics, exercise and outdoor items, children’s toys, kitchen supplies, media items, small furniture, and other assorted knick-knacks. Per the rules set by FUNDrive; they were unable to accept large appliances, weapons, bedding parts, construction materials, damaged furniture, flammable products, infant products, televisions, or computers. In all, the fundraiser saw the team gather “a sizeable amount” of products and raise roughly $200 for their program.
This was the first time that the team had done a recycling drive, but it was far from the only fundraiser that they had done, as they have also done plenty of car washes and restaurant fundraisers in the past. But the summer is not just an opportunity for the team to raise money for the next school year. They are currently in the middle of their off season, meaning they are still practicing their skills while attending four practice competitions throughout the region. On average, the roughly 45 person team does at least 8 competitions each year during the on season and off season combined. However, recent years have seen them go even further, managing to qualify for the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky for the last two years and performing phenomenally last year by placing 6th amongst roughly 3000 teams from across the globe.
And yet, the thrill of competition is not the only thing that attracts these students to the robotics program. Due to a recent influx of new students, it has given the older students an opportunity to serve as mentors, handing down their expertise while the younger students work on the actual robots. Some of these creations are also placed in demonstrations to attract more students into the program, including one such robot that shoots out wiffle balls. And plenty of the senior team members also hope to pursue career fields that involve robotics, including computer science, mechanical engineering, and the medical field.