The prize-winning robotics team of Staples High School students has outgrown its workshop and is searching for donated space where members can work on projects.

577 Wrecker Robotics is looking for about 1,000 square feet with heat, electricity and rest room access, the team's coach, John Solder said. He called the need for a larger space -- either public or private -- "urgent."

The team previously had worked in the basement of Solder's home. But with the size of the team growing to 20 members, that area now is too small, he said.

The team needs a place to work though May, when its competitive season ends. Unused office or retail space would fit the bill, but any public or private area that meets the team's needs would be considered, Solder said.

Solder suggested a business that made a non-cash donation of space might qualify may be eligible for a tax credit.

"The team is not just about building a robot," Solder said in a news release. "It's all about ... science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but also team work, professionalism and our community. Now, more than ever, we need help from our community."

577 Wreckers Robotics is not sanctioned by the Westport public schools, but its members are Staples students, Solder said. The team in 2011 won the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis.

With the introduction of engineering and robotics courses at Westport middle schools, the popularity of Staples robotics team has grown, its coach said.

The team usually meets once a week -- typically, Friday -- and works from about 3 p.m. until as late as 11 p.m. But Solder said the team could work within time limits set by a property owner.

Students have adult supervision at all times, he said, and no flammable or toxic materials are used.

Solder said some of the team's competitors had secured permanent space in public buildings. Wilton High School's robotics teams, for example, has space in that town's library, he said.

Property owners or managers may reach robotics coach John Solder by email at or text him at 203-450-9202.