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States bound: SnowBots qualify for state championship

SnowBots qualify for state championship

(Provided photo) (Front, from left) Peter Rudnicki, Maddie Minerick, Elizabeth Bergstrom, Rachel Bergstrom, Daniel Xie, Kyle Hubert. (Middle, from left) Joshua You, Tyler Gregersen, Zhi Tao Yap, Mason Heldt, Yamato Tajiri. (Back, from left) Nathanael Strome, Ben Manchester, Kayleigh Matson, Joel Brubaker, Nelson Monte, Collin Damsteegt. Not shown: Evan Hill, Edward Liu, Evan Massaway, Colton Sam, Anna Wu.
(Provided photo) SnowBots Red’s Rachel Bergstrom transporting the robot to a match.
(Provided photo) SnowBots Blue’s Zhi Tao Yap and SnowBots Red’s Yamato Tajiri scouting for alliance partners.

The SnowBots Middle School Robotics teams reached a first-ever milestone at the Pellston regional FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier on Nov 23rd. All three teams, identified by the colors Blue, Red, and Silver, have now qualified to compete at the state championship Dec. 13-14 in Battle Creek. SnowBots Blue and Silver qualified on Nov. 9 and the Red team will be joining them after their great performance in Pellston.

At Pellston, 29 teams from the Upper Peninsula and across the Northern Lower competed in 2.5-minute matches. All three SnowBots teams made it into the semi-finals. Team Blue was on the number four alliance in the semi-finals. In addition to receiving an invitation to the state championships, Team Red was a member of the winning alliance and took second place for both the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award and the Think Award. Team Silver was undefeated in the qualifying matches, captain of the winning alliance, and winner of the Connect Award. The Pellston event was sponsored in part by Michigan Technological University’s College of Computing.

SnowBots teams are open to area sixth-eighth grade students. The teams are led by Melody Doig and Chris Doig and mentored by the Houghton High School FIRST team, Superior Roboworks. Anyone interested in seeing FIRST Tech Challenge in action is welcome to attend the Mini Scrimmage on Dec. 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Houghton Middle School; enter near the cafeteria (Door No. 8). The robots will be scrambling to lift, transport and assemble “skyscraper blocks” in 2.5-minute matches. 

SnowBots teams are sponsored by: Michigan Department of Education, GS Engineering, Destination Unstoppable, Minerick Logging, Boundary Labs, ThermoAnalytics, IR Telemetrics, Michigan Tech Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Michigan Tech Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department, Monte Consulting, and Houghton Portage Township Schools.

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