KALISPELL - Kalispell’s RoboScout Squad are set to represent Flathead County on the biggest stage, thanks to years of hard work and a never give up attitude.
“We finally get to do something that I feel like we really do deserve, we worked really hard, and we earned it,” said RoboScout Squad member Jessie Chadwick
Two years after missing a chance to compete in the world championships due to COVID-19, Kalispell’s RoboScout Squad have earned a return trip to Houston after placing first in state at the Montana First Tech Challenge Robotics tournament.
“Having the letdown of not being able to go two years ago and now after working so hard with this new programming and building items, it’s just really exciting to go,” said RoboScout Squad member Lexi Nunnally.
The all-girl team — made up of Flathead and Glacier high school students — have spent the last year building their robot “Grover” to perform specific tasks for competition.
“The week before the competition we were here at the office every single day doing something, I know I did a lot of autonomous programming where I was writing out the programming on paper at school because I was like, I need to finish this!” said RoboScout Squad member Katie Eberhardy.
The squad will now compete against more than 150 teams from across the world at World Championships in Houston next month.
“I’m really excited to like interact with teams from different countries and be able to kind of figure out how to overcome things like language barriers, which will be really interesting,” said Chadwick.
Check out the video below to watch Grover in action
The RoboScout Squad competes primarily against male-dominated teams and hopes to inspire young girls in Flathead County to join the competition.
“One of our biggest goals as a team is to inspire young people, specifically young girls to pursue STEM as it’s very much a male-dominated field right now, we really want to see girls and future women in STEM more,” said Eberhardy.
Coach Krista Nunnally said the team must now raise close to $25,000 to fund the trip down to Houston.
“Transport them there and back, shipping is a lot, rental cars are really expensive right now, airfare is more expensive than it used to be two years ago so, it really all adds up,” said Nunnally.
Those who would like to support the RoboScout Squad can do so here.