“The Ferret Nation” is a coalition of parents, teachers, mentors, and students who work together to further the mission of FIRST Robotics. With the goal to “inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
Since 2010, FIRST Robotics has brought STEM education to Anacortes students of all ages. The Anacortes Robotics Booster Club (ARBC) has fostered the development of the robotics program, which operates as an extracurricular group in the Anacortes School District (ASD). As with many extracurricular activities, a substantial amount of funding comes from outside sources. This is where ARBC comes in.
ARBC has successfully raised the majority of funds for the team since 2012. This funding assists with the purchase of kits, tools, equipment, and fabrication supplies needed by the five existing teams. It will also help with start-up costs for new FLL teams in Anacortes elementary schools. In addition, ARBC provides scholarships for students that need help with event expenses. The school district provides some coaching stipends and the use of school facilities to run the program, but ARBC is an all-volunteer organization that, with the help of the Ferret Nation, raises approximately $20,000 to $40,000 annually.
Contact Curt Oppel at (360) 202-0121, ARBC President, for more information.