In only their second year of existence, the Windsor High School Robo Wizards are the best robotics team in the state.
The Robo Wizards won the Colorado FIRST FTC championship out of 38 teams last month at Regis University in Denver. They’re raising funds to help send them to St. Louis to compete in the World Festival with 128 teams from around the globe in a three-day competition, beginning April 23.
The team is coached by Eric Aas and Jonah Kliewer, a physics, electronics and earth space science teacher at Windsor High Schools and an adviser for the team. The student-led club includes: Daniel Schmerge, Alec Kent, Bishop Dickerson, Parker Cline, Jacob Aas, Jordan Schmerge, Austin Ellis, Gabe Kawamura, Daniel Bernhardt, Dalton Ellis and Matt Kesler.
“It’s a competition where you have to do certain tasks,” Kliewer said. “You build a robot for specific tasks. This year, the task was based around moving rings from pegs to different pegs. The robot had to move these rings and stack them on a central ring board.”
Kliewer said that from October to February, the students built the robot for the task.
“You try and build the robot that gets the most points,” he said.
The students need to raise $8,000 and are looking for sponsors in the local business world.
Anyone who wants to donate money to help send the students to St. Louis can contact Kliewer at (970) 686-8100, Ext 3660.
“They’ve done an incredible job, very little on the coaches part in the design aspects,” Kliewer said. “They’ve really shown incredible ingenuity. Each little aspect of the robot has its own specialization that students can be good at.
“Some of the students are very good at programming. Other students are incredibly good at the mechanical aspect and gear ratios. Most of these students have an aptitude for that kind of work.”
Kliewer said the Robo Wizards had a good robot this year from the start.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I definitely knew they had a solid robot,” he said.