Students from JH RobobBroncs, a club affiliated with Teton County School District, emerged victorious in the finals of the FIRST Robotics Competition held in Denver, Colorado on October 15. Over 200 Jackson students ranging from third to twelfth grade outperformed students from more than 40 schools in Colorado to clinch the top spot.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is a renowned “varsity sport for the mind,” challenging teams of young individuals and their mentors to solve a common problem using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. The competition aims to inspire and expand interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, and offers students opportunities to explore potential career paths as they collaborate to design, build, and program robots in competitions devised by engineering professionals.
The competition featured different categories for students of different grade levels. Third through sixth graders built Lego robots, which introduce STEM concepts through fun, hands-on learning. Seventh through twelfth graders further honed their engineering skills by designing, building, programming, and operating their own robots in the FTC robotics category, where they competed head-to-head. Additionally, a group of ninth through twelfth graders built 120-pound robots known as FRC robotics, which competed on a basketball court.
Head Coach and Team Mentor Gary Duquette expressed his pride in the JH RobobBroncs’ students’ determination and perseverance throughout the competition. He mentioned that the students were faced with one of the most challenging competitions they had ever participated in but refused to give up. JH RobobBroncs, often described as a “business team that builds robots,” encourages its students to use their creativity to design and build robots, which they then strategize, wire, and drive. Many of the students from the club go on to pursue engineering degrees.
The JH RobobBroncs team frequently travels to Colorado and Utah, hoping to qualify for the FIRST Championships in Houston, Texas, where they will compete against over 800 teams from 36 countries. Founded in 2009, the club currently has over 20 mentors and coaches working with students throughout Teton County.
Sources: FIRST Robotics