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Ontonagon expands robotics offerings after last year’s success

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette Members of Ontonagon’s Ontornadoes meet to discuss a robot design.

ONTONAGON — Success by the Ontonagon High School’s robotics team last year has crowded the bandwagon this year, with the number of student participants doubling from previous years.

The increase in student participation, and the high school team advancing past the state finals last year has led to the school junior high and elementary school robotics teams.

The Ontonagon Area Elementary School Robotics Team is called the Junior Glads. This consists of 10 fourth- and fifth-grade students.

“The students built a LEGO EV3 Robot using LEGO Mindstorms software,” Jim Bobula, OASD superintendent informed the OASD Board at Monday’s meeting. “The software enables the students to write a programming code for the robot.”

In a prepared statement from the staff leading the Junior Glads, Bobula read that the robot would be able to perform the task that the students have created for it wirelessly.

“As of December the team has successfully built and programmed the robot to pick things up and move on its own.”

The Ontonagon Area Junior High School robotics team is known as the Ontotornadoes.

“Although it was quite the challenge for a six-week team to compete against teams that have been running for years, they were still able to place 19th out of 33 teams,” Bobula stated.

Bobula went on to say, “They so impressed the judges with their efforts, performance and team dynamics that they were awarded the Judges Award.”

Bobula had the award on display at the board meeting.

“They (Ontotornadoes) learned a lot from the experience and have already listed several areas they hope to improve for next year,” Bobula said.

The district’s robotics teams held a spaghetti fundraiser Saturday at the Ontonagon VFW.

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