Your Wisconsin: FIRST Robotics

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) - Two local teams are headed to the world championships for FIRST Robotics.

"It is amazing. Working with the robot, you know what you want it to do. There is some problems along the way. But, actually going to the competition seeing everything work, everyone in the stands cheering, it is truly amazing" says Appleton East senior Dylan Dibbs. 

He's talking about a robot built by a team of 83 high school students from Appleton's three high schools. They are competing in FIRST, a non-profit designed to boost students' interest in science and technology.

"I knew I liked math and science but I did not know how to apply that" Dibbs says.

He found his niche with the NEW Apple Corps team. The roots go back to 1996 and each year students build a competition robot from scratch.

Months of after school work is paying off. "We won” says Sean Schuff, Lead Mentor for the team. “We are the winners of the 2017 Lake Superior Regional. It was awesome” he says. The title earns them a spot at the world competition.

Northeast Wisconsin will be well represented at the event. Freedom High School’s team of 21 students also qualified, by winning the Rookie All Star Award.

“You have more technical sides like the electrical wiring of the robot, or the coding of the software, but you also have design. Each part of the robot needs to be designed. Then fabricated from there. We also have a business side to the team, someone more interested in video making or even essay writing for the different awards” Dibbs explains.

Working with community mentors, the students can explore careers that stem from these skills.

“It gives them an opportunity for them to know what they want to go into. High school should be a time of exploring options and opportunities and they do that on the robotics team” Schuff explains.

Finding a career, or not. “You might realize you really have a passion for this or maybe you just want to make cool robots” Dibbs says with a laugh.

The world competition takes place the end of April in St. Louis.
 


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