Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 28, 2013.

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You will be funding the construction of a FIRST Tech Challenge robot built by FIRST Team #2845 “Team Duct Tape”

11th Hour Donations Welcome!

There's just a few more hours left in our Kickstarter campaign and we want to make every last minute count!  We welcome contributions of any size - just a dollar or two will do! And will go an enormous way towards helping us have a successful FIRST Tech Challenge season. Thank you!

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Stretch Goal: Reached! Thank You!

About the same time that we announced we'd met our Kickstarter target in just five days, FIRST announced the addition of Super-Regionals to our competition model. While it's pretty exciting to have another level of competition added to the growing FIRST Tech Challenge program, it also adds additional expense, at least if you make it to the top levels in the State Championship . And since we never plan for anything less than success, having earned our way to the State Championship every year since our founding, and earning a spot at the World Championship twice, we figure it won't hurt to plan ahead.

So with future success in mind, and three weeks left in our Kickstarter campaign, we're stretching our fundraising goal to $1500. We're already $30 into the new target amount, thanks to the generosity of our great supporters. We'll throw some new duct tape bling in for donors of $25 or more,too!

What is FIRST?

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is not just about building a robot. Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and inventor of the Segway personal transporter, among other technological advances, wanted to get young people as excited about math and science as they are about sports. Sometimes called the "Varsity Sport for the Mind," FIRST reaches students of all ages - from elementary to high school. This is a sport where "everyone can go pro!" FIRST Robotics students get hands-on experience that will give them a "kickstart" for college and beyond! Plus, students participating in FIRST programs are eligible to apply for over $16 million in scholarships.

Who is Team Duct Tape:

Team Duct Tape is a community-based robotics team comprised of public, private, and home schooled students from Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties in Florida. Each season, our team builds a new robot to compete against other teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition. Team members learn hands-on skills with the help of volunteer, professional mentors.

Team Duct Tape is starting our 6th season as participants in FTC. As a community team, we are not sponsored by a school system. We pay our own way by raising money through our team member fee, sponsors, and fund raising. Expenses include competition entry fees, robot parts (motors, servos, computers, gears, raw material, etc.), software, travel, and other team-related costs. Coaches and mentors are NOT paid positions. Additionally, this season, we plan to build our own 3-D printer to be able to produce custom parts. All money spent is ultimately used to help 'build' future scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians.

Two rings on the top row peg scores 30 points!
Two rings on the top row peg scores 30 points!

We Need Your Help

We are asking for support from our friends, community, or anyone wanting to encourage young people to follow careers in technology. Tax deductible contributions of any size are valued and appreciated! Team funds are managed by Learning is for Everyone, LI4E.org, our 501-C3 sponsor. Your support will not only help our present team, but also our future students, as parts, tools, and knowledge are handed-down to the next generation of team members!

So what do TDT students really learn?

  • Problem-solving, design and prototyping
  • Teamwork, communication, and collaboration
  • Shop skills, such as drilling with hand drill and drill press, using band, table, and chop saws, and shaping plastic, metal and wood
  • Mechanical engineering skills, such as fabricating parts, assembling components, and working with motors, gears, servos, & pneumatics
  • Electrical engineering skills, such as wiring, working with circuit boards, and troubleshooting electrical issues
  • CAD & CAM skills
  • Software programming skills
  • Public relation skills, such as public speaking, marketing, branding, and team promotion
Team members get a lesson on encoders.
Team members get a lesson on encoders.

These are the type of skills that Makers and Kickstarters LIKE YOU may already have. It is our goal that Team Duct Tape students become tomorrow's innovators! Your Kickstarts will be greatly appreciated.

Working together to build a custom scissorlift.
Working together to build a custom scissorlift.

The game is different each season and we never know exactly what challenges will be presented. Our goal is to have resources available to learn, build, and compete!

Please support the next generation of inventors and engineers by making a pledge today—our team will be forever grateful.

Be sure to visit our website and Facebook page to get more updates from our team.


Special thanks to our parents, coaches, mentors, and sponsors for making this team possible!

The TDT mechanical team performs a little hallway robot surgery between matches at a competition.
The TDT mechanical team performs a little hallway robot surgery between matches at a competition.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There is very little risk in this Kickerstarter project. FIRST is a worldwide, established organization with rules that each team must follow. Additionally, Team Duct Tape is guided by a written handbook with specifics regarding roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, Team Duct Tape has competed in this FIRST program for five years, each time building a competitive robot. All funds raised will support the team by paying for entry fees, tools, parts, and related team expenses. We expect insurmountable challenges, regular failure, and occasional conflict. Coaches and mentors are there to show team members paths to proceed and, eventually, succeed. In the finest FIRST tradition, we want to be help our great students become "Gracious Professionals", a characteristic of encouraging high-quality work, emphasizing the value of others, and respecting individuals and the community.

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LI4E is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates engaging experiential learning opportunities in the sciences and arts for people of all ages. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. Learning is for Everyone is a Guidestar Exchange Partner and is registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. Our registration number is CH22867.*

*A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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    2 backers

    Every little bit adds up! For this amount, we will post a big "thank you" on your Facebook page so all your friends will be reminded of your generosity and support of the next generation of inventors and engineers.

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    6 backers

    You will receive a personalized thank you e-mail, a big "thank you" on your Facebook page, and your name will be listed on our website.

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    4 backers

    You will receive a cool "Team Duct Tape" duct tape pin, a personalized thank you e-mail, and a big "thank you" on your Facebook page. Plus, your name will be listed on our website.

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    3 backers

    In addition to all of the above, you will receive a mystery gift. HINT: There will be duct tape involved.

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    1 backer

    Now we are talking! You will receive all of the above and a durable, yet super-stylish, duct tape wallet.

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    1 backer

    Wow! Along with all of the benefits above, we will send you an official Team Duct Tape t-shirt.

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    1 backer

    On top of the above, you will receive an awesomely, hip duct tape messenger bag.

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    0 backers

    Fantastic! In appreciation for such a generous pledge, we will include all of the above benefits plus your choice of a live demonstration of the robot at your workplace or another venue. We'll even let you drive it! (Tampa Bay, FL area only). Or, you can choose a stylish TDT hoodie.

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    0 backers

    TDT can't thank you enough for your incredible support! You will of course receive all of the above benefits, plus a beautiful plaque commemorating your generosity and an invitation to hang out with the team at one of our competitions. Receive VIP treatment, eat lunch with TDT and even hang-out in the pit area. Thank you for being an honorary TDT member and helping our team succeed!

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Funding period

- (30 days)