DIRECT COMMUNITY IMPACT
Educational Robotics of Central Ohio supports FIRST® Robotics Competition Team 1317, Digital Fusion. Since 2003, Educational Robotics of Central Ohio and FIRST® Team 1317, “Digital Fusion," (www.team1317.org) has been inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, 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.
Each year, the students of Digital Fusion design and build a robot to compete with other robots from around the world. This team, of up to 25 students, also inspires interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through community outreach events with younger students.
Educational Robotics of Central Ohio (ERCO), a 501(c)(3) organization, also supports a local FIRST Tech Challenge team (for middle school and high school students) and multiple FIRST Lego League teams (for students in grades 3 through 8), including a team of homeless children, coached by volunteers from the Homeless Foundation. Each of these teams design and build robots using modular pieces and have their own competitions.
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18.
More information about the FIRST program can be found at www.FIRSTinspires.org.
In an average year, 50 to 75 students participate in ERCO programs, developing their problem-solving skills, teamwork, leadership and confidence. Our team membership was impacted by COVID-19 the past two years, bringing total team membership in 2021-2022 to about 30-35 students across all three programs. We expect membership to return to normal, and have already seen a 50% increase in team size for Digital Fusion this season versus last season. This year our teams also held two outreach events to promote STEM interest in our community. We have taught two week-long STEM summer camps in past years (suspended for the last two years due to COVID-19) and are planning to host robotics workshops for younger students starting this spring. Your donation Educational Robotics of Central Ohio will help us continue to provide STEM opportunities for youth in our community.
DIRECT DONATION IMPACT
Our team is entirely run by volunteers and we have very few administrative costs other than liability insurance, which costs around $600 per year and a $25 annual state registration. Our annual budget is around $24,000 per year for all three levels of the teams we support, with more than 97% of our budget directly supporting the local student team and community outreach activities.
Charity Navigator awarded FIRST a 96% rating: https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/222990908
All sponsors are included on our website and depending on sponsorship level, their logos are also displayed at outreach events. For sponsorship of $1000+, we put the sponsor’s logo on our team shirts (approximately 60 shirts). For sponsorship of $2000+, we also put the logo directly on the Digital Fusion robot, which gets displayed at all outreach events, including the Ohio State Fair, and competitions.