SEQUIM — In the movie world, designers put a lot of time and money into designing and fabricating famous robots such as R2-D2, Wall-E and Robocop.
In the real world, Sequim students look for some help to invest in their next robot that could be heading into deep space.
The Sequim High School Robotics Club will host its fourth luau and auction fundraiser at 6 p.m. Saturday in the school’s cafeteria at 601 N. Sequim Ave. with a traditional Polynesian dinner, live drumming, auction items and engineering challenges.
Co-mentors Brad Moore and Stu Marcy said the luau is a key part of the club’s fundraising efforts for robotics parts, competition registration fees and travel expenses.
Tickets are available at the school and from club members in advance for $15 or at the door for $20.
Marcy said this year’s team is the biggest ever with 25 participants, up from 15 last year.
“We’re getting better at this and we’re getting a reputation,” he said of the students.
“STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] careers are becoming more dominant, too.”
Moore said the club has been meeting once a week this school year but things will step up Jan. 5 for the national kickoff where they learn of their goals.
Right now, all the team has to go on is a “Deep Space” theme and a 1-minute online video teaser.
“Every year, it’s a little different,” Moore said. “That’s the fun of it.”
Generally, rules stay the same for the robots’ motor size and other elements but the obstacles change, he said.
“That’s why you can’t just reuse the same robot from the year before,” Moore said.
Moore and Marcy said just the robotics kit costs close to $7,000 to purchase.
Marcy serves as auctioneer for the evening asking for bids on everything from donated community goods to student labor for cleaning yards, tech support and/or hanging Christmas lights.
All donations are tax-deductible, and checks can also be made to “Sequim High School, 601 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim, WA, 98382,” with “Robotics Club” in the memo line.