Robotics Competition Helps Build Long-Term Goals
Over 3,400 teams from around the globe will competing against each other for the title of FIRST Robotics world champions. 17 of those teams met in Nevis this weekend to learn more than just what the competition will hold.
Teams will need to build a robot that can gather and throw balls, climb a rope and place gears on a peg to gather points.
“This is our first year so we’re kind of new at this. But we’ve made a few friends so we’re excited to do it,” said Hannah Newberry, a freshman at Kelliher High School.
During this weekend’s kick off event, teams were able to learn about the coding and 3-D printing needed to build their robots. Hannah Newberry says she first wanted to join because her friends were doing it.
“When I heard more about it I was like, ‘well this is going to help me in the future and I’m going to learn a lot.'”
This is Martin Raines’ third year on the Cass Lake-Bena Regulators team. He says this is helping him towards his goal of being a bio-engineer.
“I love robotics because it’s introducing technology to younger kids and that’s what we really need is to have more people inspired into this,” said Raines.
It’s this approach that the Nevis school staff have embraced. Starting in 4th grade, students are introduced to Lego robots.
“As we see this kids march through, it’s a natural fit for them to join the high school after school program,” said science teacher Andrew Dahlby.
So far it seems to be working. The Tech-No-Tigers have 33 students on the team this year. They’re always looking to connect with the community by bringing out their bots or teaching elementary students how to code.
“The big thing is outreach so these kids see what we do and say, ‘I want to be a part of that,'” Dahlby added.
Perhaps the same following is in store for Pequot Lakes, which took the rookie all star award at the 2016 Lake Superior Regional.
“At first it was like, ‘oh, these guys are nerds.’ But now they realize how cool we are because we were showing off our robot at Pep-fest and stuff last year at the school,” said Brady Flategraff, a senior at Pequot Lakes High School.