Houghton robotics team heading to St. Louis for the world championships

Coming off an impressive performance at the state tournament, The Superior Roboworks Team from Houghton High School has earned a trip to the robotics world championships in St. Louis next week.

This is the second year in a row the team has gone the state championship, but it’s the team’s first time at the world championship.

Senior Erik Lund said rules for the competition are very strict.

“You have a limit on time,” he said. “You only get six weeks to build a robot.  We have limits on money and how much the parts’ price that you can have.”

This year’s competition involves creating a robot that can shoot a medicine ball into a goal.  There is a lot of teamwork involved and it’s one of the great things about this event.

So what’s the best part about putting together a robot?

“All of it. Everything from the beginning of strategizing, designing, figuring out what the game is about, reading the rules to the end of having your finished product,” Lund said.

One rule of the competition stipulates the robot must remain in a plastic bag and no alterations can be made to it.

The challenge can be daunting to many, but for junior Kayla Makela, one of the newer members, she enjoys being a part of the team.

“Eventually my friend just convinced me and said ‘give it a shot’, and I went thinking I would just go and just hang out with my friends for a couple hours and then not really come back, but then I got thrown into it,” she said. “People were giving me jobs and new knowledge, and it just sucked me in and I love it.”

But the team does need help with paying for transportation and lodging.

If you’d like to donate, head to their website, www.first857.org, or contact Houghton High School.