St. Joseph High School hosts 39 Michigan teams for FIRST Robotics Competition

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST
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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WNDU) - Week two of FIRST Robotics Competition season has begun.

At St. Joseph High School, they’re hosting 39 teams for their FIRST in Michigan Robotics Competition, one of five FIRST in Michigan Robotics Competitions happening across the state this weekend. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

Students had approximately 6 weeks from finding out the game rules, to build, program, and code a robot that could meet game requirements and complete tasks to earn teams’ points.

“The detail and effort people put in just to have fun with robots is crazy,” said Rogue Williams, a sophomore member of the Goon Squad, a team out of Brownstown.

Students use knowledge learned in STEM classes to work together, with teams telling me that each member has their role that they excel at.

“It feels really cool to see something that we built, being able to move and pick the cones and cubes and go over the ramp,” said Aaliyah Nash, a senior with the Eddies Circuits, out of Edwardsburg.

The Eddies Circuits are a newer team, “It doesn’t always feel like we’re a rookie team but then I can see some of the other higher ranked teams. It’s like, yeah we’re definitely a rookie team,” Nash said.

But rookie teams still have a chance to win, as teams are put into alliances.

Alliances can pair newer teams with older, more experienced teams, allowing them to learn from them, and even qualify for championships.

“Our robot, we use an articulating arm that uses two arms, and it has a grabber at the end and it’s an orienting grabber, so no matter what orientation the cone is in, it flips automatically,” Williams told 16 News Now.

According to Mentors, and organizers, everything that the students learn through the FIRST Robotics program is preparing them to be the next generation of STEM leaders.

“They learn everything from these technical skills, how to program, how to build, how to use machines. We have students training each other in welding and how to use a Bridgeport, and they’re high schoolers, and they’re training each other. But we also have all of these soft skills that students learn. They learn communication, they learn teamwork, they’re inclusive, and it’s just a really well-rounded program,” said Volunteer Coordinator, Morgan Brunsting.

For a full schedule of this weekend’s competition, click here.