MISHICOT, Wis. (WFRV) – A science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) student from Mishicot High School will be flying down to Texas to compete in the World Robotics Championship in April.

Elijah ‘E.J.’ Antoniewicz, a junior at Mishicot and a member of the STEMpunk 4531 Robotics Club, will be heading to Houston, Texas, to compete for scholarships.

“When my name was called out, the first thing that came to mind is ‘this has to be a joke. This can’t be happening,'” said Antoniewicz. “When I realized it was happening, the first thing I did was give my teammates a hug.”

Antoniewicz got to the championship because he was hand-selected by his coach, Jesse Huston, to be on the Dean’s List.

“It was really his individual effort and the amount he’s given back to younger students, being involved in community donation drives, mentoring younger students,” explained Huston. “It would take me an hour just to list the hundreds and hundreds of hours of things that he’s been involved in.”

Antoniewicz and his fellow teammates of STEMpunk teach younger children in their community about making robots. He says passing along his knowledge is a big reason why he has a passion for engineering.

“I’ve seen it help out a lot of people. I’ve worked with [younger children], and they just have a blast, seeing the smile on their face, having fun,” Antoniewicz added.

His accomplishments do not go unnoticed by his loved ones. Antoniewicz’s father, Al Bruckschen, is amazed by what his son has achieved.

“During a competition, I’ll show up, and I’m like, ‘Wow, you built that. You designed that. You made that thing work,’ and the creativity and ingenuity that it takes to do all that blows my mind,” stated Bruckschen.

If Antoniewicz is chosen for the overall Dean’s list award, it will increase his chances of earning college scholarships. He also says his dream is to one day build a robot that goes on another planet.