James Dyson Foundation Pitches in for Elementary School Whiz Kids to Attend Robotics World Fest

Unable to raise enough money to travel to the Robotics World Fest, champion 'Nerd Herd' elementary school robotics team finds a generous friend in the James Dyson Foundation

NEW YORK, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Building a robot at the age of twelve? Easy. Raising $7,000 at the age of twelve? Not so simple. Inspired by the students' passion for engineering and robotics, the James Dyson Foundation (JDF) has offered to pay for four self-proclaimed "kings of the nerds" to take their prize-winning robot to the prestigious Robotics World Fest competition in Atlanta, Ga.

By saving their birthday money, studying up on engineering books and working up to 15 hours a week, Daniel Alvarez, 14, Gregory Chin, 12, Simon Shkreli, 12 and Benjamin Kelk, 12, recently took first place in the New York City FIRST Lego League Robotics Championship. To compete at the national level, the "Nerd Herd" will need $7,000, but despite hosting a bake sale and a school fundraiser, the team has only been able to raise less than half that amount.

In a show of solidarity with these brilliant young minds, the James Dyson Foundation (JDF) has offered to support the students in pursuing their engineering ambitions.

"I remember being that age and tinkering with everything I could get my hands on," says James Dyson. "Breaking, mending and aiming to improve. These kids represent the future of engineering. They're demonstrating the essential traits: an inventive spirit and a healthy dose of perseverance."

"I wish the kids the best of luck at the national competition, and I look forward to hearing about their future successes," said Dyson.

James Dyson established the JDF to encourage young people to think differently, make mistakes, invent and realize their engineering potential. As part of a global effort to support engineering students, the JDF offers numerous educational programs such as engineering workshops and in-class resources. The JDF also runs the James Dyson Award, an international design award to inspire the next generation of design engineers by celebrating their work and elevating them on a global platform. The 2009 global student design competition kicked-off this winter and encompasses 21 different nations.

About the James Dyson Foundation:

The James Dyson Foundation, a registered charity, was founded in 2002 with the aim of supporting design, technology and engineering education, medical research charities and local community projects. The James Dyson Foundation works with schools and universities around the UK and internationally. For more information about the JDF's ongoing support of the sciences, engineering, medicine and education, please visit them online at www.JamesDysonFoundation.com

About the James Dyson Award:

The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers. It's run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson's charitable trust, as part of its mission to inspire young people about design engineering. For more information on the James Dyson Award, please visit www.jamesdysonaward.org

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