Trinidad State Junior College Robotics Team

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation

Help us build and send our Robot to Houston!


raised by 28 people

$11,000 goal

The Trinidad State Junior College's Robotics Program began in the fall of 2009 with the ambition of entering into the Colorado Space Grant Consortium's Great Sand Dunes Robotics Challenge ( This challenge requires a team of students to design and build an autonomous robot able to navigate several courses at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. After months of intense work, the team produced their first robot, Whiskers. Despite it being a mess of wires and duct tape and covered in multiple Parallax BOE-Bot boards, Whiskers successfully finished the first course, heading north and navigating through fine sand. Whiskers was one of only two surviving robots out of 26 entries from all the other four-year colleges and universities in Colorado. It marked the beginning of a legacy.

For the next seven years, the TSJC Robotics Team continued to leave their mark. The team continuously takes new approaches when creating their robots, such as 3D-printing their robot parts and creating their own custom printed circuit boards. Every year, the team created a new robot, better than the last, and continued to finish more courses than they had in the previous years. In 2014, TSJC's robot, ALLEN, was the first ever to finish all six courses in the Great Sand Dunes Robotics Challenge.

Due to the team's great success in an extra credit challenge last year, the team believed it was time for a greater challenge. The TSJC Robotics Team came across a new competition called the RASC-AL Robo-OPS competition ( This nationwide challenge is sponsored by NASA and requires a group of students to build a rover that will perform at the Johnson Space Center's Mars Yard in Houston, Texas. The rover was to be controlled by students at a 'Mission Control' center back at the Trinidad State Junior College campus. It was expected to utilize an arm for picking up various rocks and other objects while navigating the different terrains at the Mars Yard. The team, excited about the opportunity and ready to meet the challenge, wasted no time in starting to design and build a rover for this challenge.

Unfortunately, however, a lack of funding from NASA caused the competition to be cancelled for the 2016-17 year. That obstacle, however, would not deter the determined and dedicated TSJC Robotics Team. The TSJC Robotics Team decided to continue building the rover following the competition's guidelines. After hearing about the TSJC Robotics Team's rover, NASA officials invited the TSJC Robotics Team to test their rover at the Johnson Space Center's Mars Yard this May. This will help the small junior college's team prepare for the real competition next year.

Before the competition was cancelled, TSJC's Robotics Team was supposed to receive funding from NASA for building their robot. However, since the competition was cancelled, the team will receive no funding from NASA. To build a high quality robot capable of performing well in NASA's Mars Yard, the team needs high quality parts. Currently, the team does not have enough money to buy all of the supplies needed, or to actually take the robot to NASA's Mars Yard.

The team is required to fundraise in order to build the rover and take it to the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so any amount of support will be greatly appreciated. Click on the Donate Now button or send your check payable to the TSJC Educational Foundation, 600 Prospect St., Trinidad, CO 81082. Please reference TSJC Robotics in the memo line of the check.

GO TSJC Robotics Team!!!

With Great & Sincere Thanks,

The TSJC Robotics Team

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