High school robotics team has new challenge

FIRST Robotics kicked off the 2012 season Saturday, Jan. 7.  via a NASA broadcast, FIRST members around the world learned the challenge for the season and now have 6 1/2 weeks to build the robot.

FIRST Team 3038, a cooperatively sponsored team with members from North Branch Area High School and Chisago Lakes Area High School, met in North Branch and began designing and planning strategies for the  game called “Rebound Rumble.”

The team must design a robot to shoot foam basketballs into 4 hoops at varying heights.  In additiion to shooting, the robot must also be able to play defense and balance with another robot on a bridge separating the court into two halves.

FIRST Team 3038 is self supporting program sponsored by St. Jude Medical Foundation with additional monies raised through team fundraisers.

“We are deeply grateful to the people at St. Jude Medical Foundation for sponsoring our team.  Without them, our team would not exist.  Building this robot is a great educational experience for our team members and gives them real world experience in engineering, design, and marketing,” said team mentor Becky Leuer.

Currently, the team has 8 volunteer mentors.

The 2012 team has 29 student members, nine from Chisago Lakes and 20 from North Branch.  The team will be working 4-6 days a week until Feb. 21, to complete the robot.  The team will be competing in the 10,000 Lakes Regional at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota March 29-31 with hopes of advancing to the World Championships in St. Louis in April.

This year, FIRST and the Minnesota State High School League will be co-sponsoring a State Championship on May 19, with the top 24 Minnesota teams selected for participation based on their performance at the regional competition.

In 2010, FIRST Team 3038 won the 10,000 Lakes Regional and advanced to the world championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

Follow Team 3038 on Facebook or visit the website at icerobotics.org.

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