Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rockin' Robots WINS Regional Competition

The Rockin’ Robots 3692 walked away with the first place trophy Saturday in Duluth at the Lake Superior regional competition. The win qualified the team for the nationals slated for April in St. Louis.

The Rockin’ Robots is a robotics team open to students at any Rock County high school. Currently, the team is made up of 15 members, 13 from Parker and two from Craig. The faculty advisors, Bob Getka and Tom Heiss, teach at Parker.

Programmers from the same team recently finished fourth in the nation at an event at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT competition featured code from the Rockin’ Robots being sent to the International Space Station where it was used to control robots.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of our team, its members and the support from students’ parents and, of course, our faculty. Here’s an example of how much positive influence this success has on our students.

“I saw one of our team members just staring at his medal from the Duluth competition,” said Getka. “I asked him what he was doing. After all, it’s just a medal.”

Getka said he was floored by the student’s response.

“Mr. Getka,” the student said. “This is the first medal I have ever received doing anything. I just can’t believe how great is feels.”

I think it feels great as well. It reminds me that we have so many great teachers who perform at such a high level with fantastic results by our students.

The Rockin’ Robots are headed to Milwaukee March 20-22 for the Wisconsin championships. We wish them well, but regardless of the outcome there, they are qualified for the national championships in St. Louis.

Who knows where they’ll land next. In outer space or on Earth, we’ll follow the fortunes of the Rockin’ Robots.

Video of the final competition (approx. 5 min.)

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