NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Members of a community robotics team are flying half-way around the world to compete in the FIRST Asia Pacific Invitational tournament in Sydney, Australia.

The "L.E.D. Empire" (Legendary Engineering Dudes Empire) is a community based team in Newport News and is coached by Ms. Dusty Crocco.

They've conducted yard sales, collected scrap metal, sold T-shirts and went door-to-door to local businesses, seeking donations to help pay for their trip.

The team packs up the robot on July 8 and leaves for Australia July 9.

The Newport News team is one of two teams representing Virginia at the three-day international tournament. There are 170 FIRST Tech Challenge teams in Virginia.

Altogether, 33 teams will compete in the tournament, representing China, India, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, and USA.