The girls range from ages 11-14 years and the team has conducted a bake sale for the past few years in order to raise funds for their team and pay for all the expenses. The team members are located in the Fairfax, Herndon, Vienna area.
“Bake Sale! Support an all-girls robotics team!” our team yelled in front of Giant, our local grocery store, located on Lee Jackson Memorial Highway. Standing at our table, we urge customers to buy our scrumptious, home baked goods. While some individuals walk past our stand with confused faces, others promise to return later. Our team, who is sponsoring this bake sale, participates in First Lego League (FLL), which is a competition held worldwide annually. By raising funds, we are able to purchase supplies needed for our team – items include a new robot and related parts to poster boards. Through annual bake sales, we have learned more about the generosity of people within our community, the effort involved in raising money as well as the true value of hard work. To receive permission to hold our bake sale at the local Giant, our team members wrote a letter to the manager explaining the process, goals, and length of the bake sale. When we successfully received approval, we decided the goods and supplies we would need. After a weekend of baking cupcakes, brownies, truffles, and banana breads, our team began packaging our various baked goods. As a group, we decided that our prices would be donation based, allowing customers to contribute what they desired. Finally, after weeks of planning, organizing and baking, the day of the sale arrived! Through this experience, our team learned several important life skills. Throughout the day, we saw the generosity of each customer. Just as each baked good had different ingredients, every customer's background was unique. We had customers that were familiar with FLL as well as some who just wanted cookies for their kids. We also had youngsters visiting our table, and we hope to have inspired them to be involved in science and technology, especially young girls. While some customers donated $25 for a mere cupcake, others gave $5 for 6 items and a few people generously donated without taking an item. Everyone came from different lifestyles; yet, many were willing to give some amount to our cause. Through all the planning, learning and selling, we discovered that determination, dedication and teamwork are all vital elements of earning money. Our all-girls robotics team learned that hard work pays off. We began the day with a slow start; however, after numerous hours, we raised over $700. Together, we began to understand the concept that some people will reject you; however, with persistence and patience, you will get the desired results. Holding a bake sale has become an annual tradition for our team and one that we eagerly look forward to. There is no better way to kick off the season! Our team can proudly say that the money we use to supply all of our team’s needs comes from all the hard work and effort we put into organizing the bake sale. Most significantly, we have learned the importance of teamwork, as well as some essential life skills. This year was special because we donated part of the proceeds raised from the bake sale to the Pender Vet Animal Hospital, among the local area’s top animal hospitals. The theme for FLL this year was related to animals. We visited the animal hospital as part of a field trip and decided to make a contribution to the hospital to help take care of animals. We felt this was a perfect way for our team to give back to the community. With each bake sale, we get stronger as team and we hope to keep this sweet tradition going for years to come
Ritika Thope, 14, of Fairfax is ninth-grader at Fairfax High School.