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Chisago Lakes Schools

North Branch Schools

home : schools : schools May 29, 2016

1/30/2014 3:39:00 PM
NB Robotics team advances to state
Team 7290 and ‘Spot’ the Robot. Left to right, Aliah Williams, Peighton Koeppen, Grace Lundgren, Samantha McPherson, Kaitlyn Wright, Emerson Peaslee.
Team 7290 and ‘Spot’ the Robot. Left to right, Aliah Williams, Peighton Koeppen, Grace Lundgren, Samantha McPherson, Kaitlyn Wright, Emerson Peaslee.

Last September, after receiving grant money from Lakes State Credit Union and North Branch Technology Department, North Branch was able to start three FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams. "After five very successful years with out North Branch-Chisago Lakes Team 3038 robotics team, it only seemed logical that we would get something started for our 7th and 8th grade students as a feeder program for our high school group," said Becky Leuer, team leader for all of the robotics teams.

The teams formed in September and really got started building a robot to compete in the game "Block Party" in early October. North Branch has two teams of boys and one all-girls team. Each team participated in a different competition with Team 7288 competing in December and early January, Team 7289 in early January, and the girls team, 7290, last Saturday, January 25. "We really didn't know what to expect at the competitions since it was our first year so each time a team competed we passed along what we learned to the next two teams" commented Leuer. This helped each team be more competitive in the game. Team 7288 got an opportunity to compete a second time when a team dropped out and advanced to the semi-final round.

Competition day begins with an interview where the team answers questions from two judges about their team, the robot, and the build and design process. Following the interview, the robot must pass a hardware and software inspection and then the competition begins. Teams are randomly paired up and compete as an alliance against two other robots. On Saturday, Team 7290 came out strong winning their first qualifier 185-129 and went on to post a 4-2 record and finish 8th out of 24 teams. The top 4 teams draft alliance partners for the finals and North Branch 7290 was picked by the #2 team. After winning their semi-final match, they advance to the finals where they lost and finished second for the day. North Branch Team 7290 was selected to be one of the teams to advance to the State FTC Championships on February 22 in Prior Lake. A total of 24 teams are selected to advance to the state meet. Minnesota has 72 FTC teams. "The team is very excited to get another opportunity to compete and busy improving their robot to be even more competitive," said Leuer

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