Drones overhead; Nevis robotics team makes magic
By Jean Ruzickajruzicka@parkrapidsenterprise.com A drone flew overhead in Nevis School's original gym Saturday recording progress as robotics teams worked to prepare their automatons for competition. Nevis roboticists invited area schools to join...
By Jean Ruzicka
A drone flew overhead in Nevis School’s original gym Saturday recording progress as robotics teams worked to prepare their automatons for competition.
Nevis roboticists invited area schools to join them in the final phases of constructing their machines for Recycle Rush, an international competition employing science, technology and problem-solving.
The students were in Week 0, Feb. 17 the deadline for robot completion. Six weeks in the works, the machines built to stack totes, garbage cans and giant “noodles” were to be bagged and tagged by midnight Tuesday, no further alterations to be made.
Teams will be heading to Duluth Feb. 25-26 for rigorous inspection and initial practice rounds. The robots are judged on structural integrity, electrical systems and other factors before being deemed ready to compete.
Two 60-team events from 120 schools will send their robots off on a mission to stack garbage cans, totes and noodles, team advisor Olaf Netteberg explained. Points are earned for successful “recyclables” stacking.
Minnesota’s competitions are the second largest in the nation, with California claiming first.
Most of the robotics competitors will arrive from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, with some hailing from Illinois and Michigan. Six teams from China will descend with robots in Minneapolis this spring. Mexico will likely compete.
Three years ago, the Minnesota State High School League embraced the competition as a varsity event. In 2013, Nevis, the captain of a three-team alliance, took second in the state out of a 30-school competition.
After qualification rounds, the top eight teams choose two additional teams for their alliances, selected to complement their game, Netteberg explained.
Twenty-four teams go into finals with a double elimination format. The top alliance earns an invitation to St. Louis in April.
Nevis is one of the smallest schools in the state competing. Seventeen Tigers will be going to Duluth, with a 50-50 male-female ratio.
“It’s fiercely competitive but they help each other,” said Debbie Janzen, a team advisor from Detroit Lakes. “We see gracious professionalism,” she said of the “sport of the mind. Everyone learns and everyone wins. It’s life’s lessons for kids.”
Other teams arriving in Nevis Saturday were Staples-Motley, Wadena and two from Cass Lake.