It stands to reason that kids who know how to build robots can also outsmart fancy-pants public-radio station KCUR 89.3 in fundraising acumen. Whereas 89.3 prefers a time-tested combination of pledge-week broadcast interruptions and some pretty clear-cut passive-aggressive behavior, today the Liberty High School robotics team holds its first-annual pancake breakfast fundraiser.Today is also the day the team finds out this year’s engineering challenge from the First Robotics Competition. Robotics team faculty adviser Ben Heaivilin, a pre-engineering teacher at Liberty High School, says, “The breakfast celebrates the kickoff for our robotics event — it’s the day we find out what task we have to accomplish.” The team will then have six weeks to build a ‘bot that can perform the FRC’s task. “Last year, we had to pick up plastic inner tubes and place them on a tic-tac-toe game board. It’s an international event. There are teams from Canada, South America, the Middle East. Most of them are from the U.S.”From 8 a.m. to noon at Liberty High School (200 Blue Jay Drive, Liberty, 816-736-5345) Chris Cakes serves all the pancakes you can eat for $6. The morning’s events will include a silent auction, which also beats guilt-tripping 89.3’s pledge week with a robotically wielded stick.

Sat., Jan. 5, 8 a.m.-noon, 2008