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Photo by Diane Cox
Edwardsville Technologies FRC 4931 (E’Ville Tech) members Alex Garbe, Justin Garbe and Jacob Waller prepare for competition in the World Championship Robotics competition Wednesday through Saturday in St. Louis.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Jakob Schoeberle dials in the WormGear Warriors robot for the World Championship competition at the Nelson building at the Lewis and Clark Community College campus in Edwardsville.
Edwardsville Robotics is a club offered to area youth ages 6-18 to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
Two Edwardsville robotics teams qualified to compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) World Championships April 27-30 in St. Louis at several venues including the Dome, America’s Center and the Peabody Opera House.
The WormGear Warriors 8620 finished in seventh place in their division while the Edwardsville Tech FRC 4931 finished in 22nd place in their division.
“This was such a great experience for our teams and a large stage to compete on,” board of directors member Noelle Norris said. “We had some long days and we all came home exhausted. Our team members really had a blast and got as much out of it as they could. It was such a long week, but we learned a ton.”
Considered one of the home teams, the club fell short of its first-year goal of making finals but left a lasting impression at the competition.
“We have an amazing team of mentors and coaches who teach the kids the principles of building robots while learning STEAM,” Norris said.
The robotics league is grouped into programs such as FRC-FIRST Robotics Competition, FRT-FIRST Tech Challenge, FLL-FIRST LEGO League and JrFLL-Junior FIRST LEGO League.
“FIRST World Championship is four programs coming together for one huge event in St. Louis,” WormGear Warriors coach Craig Watson said.
Robotics competitions became widely popular through series such as “BattleBots” that showcase teams that build robots of destruction engineered to survive against another robot as well as hazards built into the arena.
The robotics club members agree the demolition-style event of “BattleBots” is fun to watch, but it’s far more rewarding for them to build robots that complete tasks, earn points and come back home in one piece.
“These robots are too expensive to build and bring home as spare parts at the end of the day,” Edwardsville senior Jacob Waller said. “I’ve learned far more than just working with these machines; it’s brought me out of my shell and it’s taught me to be more confident. I give presentations to corporations now and I’m able to talk in front of large groups. It’s been a blast being a part of this group for the past couple of years.”
For information on how to join or be involved, visit the Edwardsville Robotics club’s website at www.edwardsvillerobotics.org/ or their Facebook page. The Edwardsville Robotics Club has set up a GoFundMe page to help with raising funds to support the program. Anyone wishing to donate may visit www.gofundme.com/2s64ncbw.