Statesbots teams compete in First Tech Challenge

Elise Wilke-Grimm
News/Opinion Editor

Orange “Statesbots” members, freshman Xavier Jurotich, junior Erica Magee and freshman KImberly Rumack prepare for their bout at the first competition of the First Tech Challenge on Sat, Nov. 16. There are two teams from Webster because of the large number of members (31). Black team placed fourth and Orange team placed sixth. They will move on to the next round. Photos by Elise Wilke-Grimm

Statesbots (Robotics Club) competed in the annual First Tech Challenge. Their first round of the competition was on Nov. 16. Black team won fourth place, orange team won sixth place.

Erica Magee, junior, sees the club as a good opportunity to practice since a STEM career is in her future since robotics involves working with science and math. She is on the programming team for her teams robot, and she has spent a lot of time with her group trying to figure out what strategies to use.

Due to the club’s large number of people there are two teams, the black team and the orange team. Within each team there are two subteams, coding and building. The teams share materials, but they work separately on different robots. Robotics competes in various competitions throughout the year that are all part of the First Tech Challenge.

“The overall program is called Statesbots, and since we have so many people, we need to split into two teams. We work separately but still share materials and work in the same space,” Magee said.

At the beginning of the year, the teams were assigned with a challenge to make a robot that can build with large Lego-like blocks. The teams have been preparing their robots since the beginning of the school year when they got their challenge from the First Tech Challenge which is a nationwide competition that allows students to compete with other students head-to-head.

As the teams progress through the competition, there is a chance to make it to state, world, etc. This gives them a chance to compete throughout all nine months of the school year depending on how far the teams make it. The teams compete against other high schools to have the most efficient and advanced robots. They’ve been competing in First Tech Challenge since the club was established.

Along with the First Tech Challenge, the teams attend different community service events like Pancake Festival or the First Friday Event at the Science Center. At these events they set up either a booth or a station to attract the interest of families. At these events they’ll bring different robots or activities to show off, like their new Virtual Reality Headset, they bought through receiving a grant.

The club has run for eight years and is co sponsored by Nicolas Kirschman and David Kraus. Their job as sponsors is to do the administrative work and to talk to outside sponsors to get the clubs members the materials that they need as well as dealing with the parent organization.

“I’m more into technology than robotics, but I am definitely into robotics,” Kirschman said.

Junior Adam Jurotich has been a member of the robotics for three years. He enjoys being able to spend time with his friends while also practicing problem solving.

“It’s fun to work together as a group to achieve a certain goal,” Jurotich said.

Since Jurotich wants to go into video game development as a career he uses robotics to practice coding. Though projects can be frustrating it is always satisfying when a tough challenge gets solved, he said.

Statesbots meets every Tuesday and Thursday after school in room 109 as well as Saturday afternoons from 12-3 p.m.


Elise Wilke-Grimm – News/Opinion Editor

This is news and opinion editor Elise Wilke-Grimm’s first year on ECHO staff. She is excited to begin work on the ECHO and get lots of chances to write.


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