It was the Cometbots’ exceptional engineering skills that landed them a spot in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Detroit, Michigan, on April 24-27, but now they need help getting there.

The cost to take the team and to compete exceeds $22,000.

“This is a huge honor and opportunity for the team who has contributed countless hours designing, building and programming a robot to perform a specified set of tasks,” said CTE Coordinator Debra Woltz. “This is also a huge expense that the school cannot afford on its own. We have begun a fundraising campaign but have a limited time frame and are also looking for contributions and sponsors.”

The budget needed includes four SUV rentals totaling $2,583.52, gas allowance of $800, 10 hotel rooms totaling $10,000, event registration of $5,000, meal allowance of $4,560 for a total of $22,943.52.

Last year, the Cometbots also made it to the world championship and ranked 57 out of 67 with a record of 1-9-0.

Over 400 teams representing 25 states and 45 countries competed.

This year, the robotics team came back swinging.

During the team’s first March competition in Glen Allen, the Cometbots ranked fourth in qualification rounds with a record of 13-4-1.

The Cometbots went to Portsmouth during the weekend of March 15 for more district play where they ranked 12th and won the Excellence In Engineering Award. They ended that weekend with a record of 7-6-1.

From March 29-31, they competed in Blacksburg where they ranked 12th with a record of 12-7-0.

Their final district competition was held April 10-13 in Fairfax where they ended up ranking fifth with a record of 9-6-0.

While they did experience some disappointment that day with losing two out of three quarterfinal matches, they received a pat on the back when they were presented the Excellence In Engineering Award.

Robotics Instructor Adam Reeves said it was that award that gave them the boost they needed to receive an invitation to the world championship.

Now, the team is hoping to secure enough contributions and sponsors.

Questions can be directed to Woltz at 434-575-2013 or email her at dwoltz@halifax.k12.va.us.

If anyone would like to contribute, checks may be made out to Halifax County High School Robotics and mailed to Halifax County High School, P.O. Box 310, South Boston, VA 24592.

Follow “Team 977 Cometbots” on Facebook for updates.