Many Keweenaw high school robotics students will be spending the weekend on a field trip.
The FIRST Robotics District Championship is taking place this weekend in Escanaba with nearly 40 teams competing in the district, and 8 of them coming out of the Keweenaw area.
“I didn’t really think I wanted to be in robotics just because it didn’t seem to peak my interests and then my science teacher had told me about robotics and what it really is and so I decided to join and then I stuck with it and I’ve bee working on the robot and a lot of other aspects, too,” said Gabrielle Roberts, who is now in her second year on the Houghton High School team that will be participating in the competition this weekend.
Roberts said, “Definitely being able to build things has helped me, especially in classes like my metal shop classes.”
Each team’s design is completely unique and built by students from scratch. Many of the robot’s parts are milled and 3D printed.
Roberts said, “The first time I joined, I had never used a wrench or really any tool other than maybe a hammer.”
The competition gives students a chance to compare building ideas with each other, and a chance to socialize.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a team from Negaunee. I have some friends on that team and if we make it to Saginaw, I’m looking forward to seeing some teams down there,” said Roberts.
The tournament starts tomorrow at Escanaba High School and is open to the public. The games will resume on Saturday with playoff winners advancing to the regional championship downstate.