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Video: Hundreds of Robotics Teams Compete in first day of FIRST Double Deccer

Mar 07, 2019 06:23PM ● By Editor

123 robotics teams were at the DECC Friday battling it out at the FIRST Double Deccer robotics competition.  Photo:  WDIO


By Alejandra Palacios from WDIO-TV - March 8, 2019


123 high school robotics teams were at the DECC Friday battling it out at the FIRST Double Deccer robotics competition.

FIRST is an acronym that means "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." 

The love and popularity for robotics brings a community of passionate high schoolers together for the FIRST Robotics Lake Superior and Northern Lights regional. The team with the most points will make it to the FIRST championship in April.

123 robotics teams were at the DECC Friday battling it out at the FIRST Double Deccer robotics competition


After months of preparation, robotics teams were anxious to hit the pit and put their hard work to the test in the outer space themed regional competition.

"We are going for more of a defensive robot and that's one of our strengths in building. We have a robust drive train and going into it, we are pretty confident,” Jack McWilliams, a member of the Esko Subzero Robotics team from Minnesota, said.

"It’s really great it's a huge opportunity and good opportunity because you learn so much,” Ebba Jonsson, a member of the Viking Robotics team from Sweden, said. "It’s very exciting! It’s something different from what we have at home and it’s been a fun experience."

The hobby proves to be popular across the globe. The competition brings in students from the upper Midwest, Hawaii, and all the way from China and Sweden.

"It's really cool it’s something so different from Sweden. if this would be in Sweden, we would probably not be this into it. Everyone has a big spirit here,” Jonsson said.

"We've got over 3,000 students here and their mentors and all the parents that want to come and watch. We're hitting capacity limit for the venue. It’s catching on and people are realizing it’s really fun and entertainment for families,” Mark Lawrence, the chairman for the Minnesota FIRST regional planning committee, said.

The growing success of the competition has a lot to do with the learning opportunities robotics provides to the high schoolers.

"You can think of each robot team as its’ own little company where the product is actually the robot. Students have to do marketing, branding, and they have to raise funds to fund the team,” Lawrence said. "They learn all sorts of skills from team work to critical thinking, to raw physics."

And the biggest takeaway from the competition are those skills students gain and the comradery.

"We're really close and tight. We just have a strong legacy of leadership and we all get along pretty well in general and that gives us a boost,” McWilliams said.

The competition is free and open to the public. It goes through Saturday. 

Watch the WDIO-TV Report on the Robotics Competition here

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