Arizona Teams: Are You Joining AIA?

With the AIA state championship coming up in the next few weeks, our club is trying to figure out whether or not to join the AIA.

So far, I’m not sure if it’s worth it. As I understand, students would need to pay $100 as dues, similar to bands and orchestras, which would count as the parent’s tax credit donation. We would also get free buses up to a certain amount per student. The problem is, we use dues money to pay for club t-shirts and we can’t use tax credits to pay for them.

Am I correct in my understanding? Is there anything else the team should know before joining? Is joining optional or compulsory? Are other Arizona teams joining?

Everything I know is here:

http://aiaonline.org/activities/robotics

Interesting quotes from the tournament guide:

No entry fee to participate in the AIA Robotics State Championship.

and

All students eligible for membership on a FIRST Robotics team will be eligible for the AIA Robotics State Championship.

I’m still looking for how the community teams, Caution and BinaryBots get in; the AIA seems to have done “The Right Thing” (YEAH!) by inviting them.