U-High robotics team to compete in Midwest Regional FIRST Robotics Competition
About twenty students in the U-High robotics team, Cache Money 8096, will be competing in the Midwest Regional FIRST Robotics Competition from March 9-11 at the Credit Union 1 Arena, formerly known as the UIC Pavilion, in Chicago, which is free to the public.
Cache Money will be among fifty national and international teams competing three days for a chance to attend the world championship in Houston, Darren Fuller, U-High robotics coach and Middle School Science teacher, says.
Even though this is only the fourth year of Cache Money as a team, they are the winners of the 2022 and 2023 poster design contest for the competition. In November, the team received a $3,000 FIRST Robotics grant from Bayor Fund and used the funds to build their 2023 competition robot-which they have named Piggie Smalls.
Robotics is not just about building robots,” Fuller says. Students gain engineering skills that “go far beyond” and how to be part of a team, he says. “Students have to learn to think outside the box and find solutions to complex problems.
Students meet year round since the team has “nine to ten weeks to analyze the game, make a list of priorities in terms of what they want to try and accomplish, then design, build and test a robot,” Fuller says.
"Our mantra to the kids is, you get out of it what you put into it. More casual members do gain knowledge but do not end learning nearly as much as those who put more into it,” Fuller says. Additionally, they have four adult volunteer mentors that help them.
Fuller says there are two additional regionals the team will compete in-The Wisconsin Regional and The Buckeye Regional.
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