A team of eight Mohonasen High School students traveled to St. Louis last month to compete in the FIRST World Championship robotics competition.
The MohonBots and their robot, Geronimo 3, placed 64th out of 125 teams in their division during the competition at the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams. Their record was 1-8.
“Even though we didn’t perform as well as we wish we could’ve, it was still a really, really fun time,” said Laura Treers, a senior and the team’s captain.
During the four-day trip, the students competed with and met students from South Korea, Russia, China, India, the Netherlands, Mexico and Saudi Arabia; saw the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium; and visited the City Museum, which is part museum, part climbing structure.
To get there, the students won five FIRST Tech Challenge competitions during the school year.
“In some cases, I think that it sparked enough interest in students who are going to pursue a career in the area of robotics,” said their coach, George Reluzco, a technology teacher at the high school. “And in other cases, even if that doesn’t become their primary focus, it brought them into an area where they’re much more knowledgeable about the opportunities in STEM and the field of engineering.”
Treers, who recently committed to attending MIT in the fall, was one of 10 students to attend a reception for MIT-bound students at the competition. She plans to study mechanical and electrical engineering so she can work with robotic systems.
Treers and her teammates, who are mostly seniors, plan to mentor next year’s team and also write a book to guide future teams.
“We’re hoping to do some Skyping,” she said. “And after the competition, we know that we learned a lot, so we’re looking to write a book about the top tips we’ve learned this year that other teams can use.”