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Nevis Robotics Team heading to World Competition

Team 3102 Tech-No-Tigers won the honor of competing in worlds Apr. 24-27 in Detroit, Mich. in this year's "Deep Space" event with a win at Duluth Saturday. Mentors and family members were there to show their support of the team that has put in countless hours of hard work preparing for regionals. Submitted photos.1 / 2
Excited after their win qualified them for worlds, from left, pit captain Autumn Voegel, safety captain Sierra Wroolie and Madeline Mitchell, the human player for the game, were happy to be going to the next level. 2 / 2

The Nevis Robotics Team 3102 Tech-No-Tigers, which also includes members from Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School, is heading to the worlds.

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Championship competition in Detroit, Mich. will be held April 24-27.

The team earned a spot at worlds with their win at the Lake Superior Regional last weekend that included 63 teams.

Tom Aman is a senior and the lead programmer and technician on the drive team. He was selected by mentor Olaf Netteberg to report on regionals. It will be his second time attending a world competition, as he also was part of the robotics team that went to St. Louis in 2016.

"We are all still very excited about winning the regional," he said. "We were the fifth place alliance at the end of the qualification rounds on Saturday, and were picked by the second place alliance, Gator Robotics from Badger. The third member of our alliance in finals was Sub-Zero Robotics from Esko."

About 40 people, including mentors, made the trip to Duluth. Family members came to cheer on the team, too. Aman said the arena is very loud.

"They announce the teams that are on the field every time they compete,"he said. "When a team's number is called, the team all cheers."

Aman said his favorite part of the robotics competition was the climbing. "We were able to get to the third level of the habitat in seven seconds," he said. "We were at least in the top three fastest climbers there."

He said their robot performed well in the competition with no major problems.

Due to the snowstorm, the team stayed over an extra night, leaving for home on Sunday. "The roads coming home weren't bad, but we did have one flat tire that delayed us for a little while," he said.

A fire truck escorted the team into Nevis when they arrived Sunday afternoon, meeting them east of town on Hwy. 34.

"They led us into town and people were waiting in front of the school with signs," Aman said. "On Monday when we were back in school a lot of people said congratulations."

The team's next event is the 10,000 Lakes Regional in Minneapolis at the end of March.

"We still go to this regional, even though we qualified for worlds already," he said. "If we win again, we will generate what they call a wild card so another top-ranked team at that regional can go to worlds."

Their robot is currently sealed in a bag and will remain there until they compete in Minneapolis.

"When we're done with Minneapolis, it must go back in the bag and in a crate," he said. "FedEx sponsors shipping to worlds. A truck will get it from the school and bring it to Detroit and it will be waiting in our pit when we get there."

Aman said that during the build season, which is six weeks long, he spends 15 to 20 hours a week on robotics. He is also involved in Math Lague, Knowledge Bowl, jazz band and pep band.

Team 3102 also won the Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratory.

Aman said he will never forget his first World experience in 2016. "The one thing that stands out to me is the scale of the competition when you're there," he said. "You're up against the best of the best from all over the globe. There were 600 teams there and basically eight competitions going on at once in the old Rams stadium. Each team gets a pit spot, so you can imagine how much space that takes up. There were robots as far as you can see. It was so big it took 10 to 15 minutes to walk from our spot in the stands to the pits."

Young women make up more than 80 percent of the team. Madeline Mitchell shared how being on the robotics team has influenced her.

"My learning experiences have been learning patience and that good things come with time," she said. Robotics has also taught me to persevere through any obstacle in life. All of my experiences in robotics have been amazing. From build season to regionals there is never a dull moment. Robotics has had a very positive impact on my life in every possible way."