High School Students Practice for Robotics Competition

Organization aims to inspire students to pursue engineering

FARGO, N.D. —  High school students in the area are preparing to compete in a robotics competition held by an organization called First Robotics.

“It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else. There’s not a lot of other programs that give you this much manufacturing or engineering experience,” said Brennan Coslett, a West Fargo High School senior.

Students from various high schools in Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead are building different robots designed to complete an obstacle. The goal is to get as many of  blocks onto one side of a lever so it tilts in that team’s favor.

Students have been preparing for the competition for past six weeks.

“When you finally get to see it moving, it’s the best feeling. Because you’ve been working day in and day out. And you get to go in and seeing it all come together just one day where everything was moving, picking up and placing blocks where we wanted to, was just the best feeling,” said Kyle Schmidt, another West Fargo High School senior.

The students work with mentors, and the competition is part of a global initiative to inspire students to get into engineering.

“I like it when the switch flips in a student when they finally get what engineering is. That moment when they say, okay if this is engineering then I’m in. That’s really what I look for,” said Lee Johnson, a team mentor.

Students say completing together fosters a great team–building environment.

“It’s a little challenging especially when you see a much of men in one room and you’re the only female but all the guys just become your teammates and treat you like the rest of the people,” said Sadiyo Jassa, a West Fargo High School senior. “So you can thrive in it as long as you have the drive and passion for it.”

It’s an experience these students say wouldn’t have been possible without the help of their sponsors.

The robotics competition will be held next week over the course of several days in Grand Forks.

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