MISSOULA — Missoula County high school students joined forces to design and create a robot. The Missoula Robotics Team revealed their robot on Saturday. And it's a robot that they hope will take them all the way to a world robotic championship.
Designed to shoot red balls into a handmade hoop, the robot is coded, designed, manufactured and run by a group of 25 Missoula high school students.
Each member plays a critical role in the process. Third year team member and lead builder on the bot is junior Ethan Braun.
“Being there, having all that work you did in the past few months, all culminating in that one two minute event that your robot's competing in against all these other teams who've done the exact same thing is really exciting,” Braun told MTN News when asked about the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).
And he doubles as the robot driver.
The group follows a rigorous design process before prototyping and building the shooting bot. In order for this to happen, they need money. And Adara Hauer is one of the team members responsible for pitching grants.
“If we don't have enough money for the team, then that means we can't travel or do anything," said Hauer. "Like we couldn't buy these T-shirts. We couldn't buy anything. We couldn't set this whole thing up if we didn't have the money for the team. So the business side, even though it might not seem very important, it's like the most important aspect of the team.”
The goal is to spark passion for STEM and develop those life skills. Not to mention having some fun along the way.
“I get to hang out with my friends,” was Hauer's answer when asked about her favorite part of the Missoula Robotics Team.
The team won the FRC Chairman’s award last year, but this year, they are hoping to qualify for the world championship.