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Crowdfunding Effort Begins to Raise Money for Laramie Robotics Club

June 9, 2016
An LRC member programs a robot at a recent meeting.
The LRC offers opportunities to learn programming and STEM concepts to local students.

A fundraising campaign began Thursday to raise money for an educational club within the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wyoming.

The UW Foundation launched You Fund as a way to crowdfund opportunities around campus. The latest effort is directed toward the Laramie Robotics Club (LRC) with a goal of raising $10,000 by mid-July. To learn more or donate, click here.

The LRC was founded to impart to local children a love for programming and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Each week, students in the club get together and play and learn with robots. They get to design their own challenges, such as having robots solve mazes or play robot tag. They discover how fun programming and robotics can be while learning about the concepts required to accomplish their goals.

While the professors, graduate students and parents who teach the students volunteer their time, and the room and computers are donated by UW, the actual robotic components cost money. Currently, the club has a set of introductory robots, but because the skill set of some of the students has outgrown these robots, the club would like to purchase more sophisticated robots.

“Your support and generosity would make all the difference to these future scientists and engineers,” says Jeff Clune, UW Department of Computer Science assistant professor.

Computer programming and robotics represent a huge segment of the current and future economy. As the Seattle Times reported in 2013, "Nationwide there is a well-documented shortage of graduates in computer science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 70 percent of all newly created jobs across all STEM fields during this decade -- across engineering, the physical sciences, the life sciences and the social sciences -- will be in computer science."

For more information about the LRC, click here.


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