Robotics Team Takes Podium with List of Firsts

1st place in BEST award. 1st place in robot. 1st place in exhibit and interview. 1st place in engineering notebook. Most Robust Robot. Hillcrest's robotics club partnered with a group of homeschool students and the pre-engineering class and dominated the field of 34 schools that attended the 4th annual tri-state BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. 

After winning the regional competition one month ago the teams focused on the tri-state competition. Teams from Minnesota, and North and South Dakota, developed a robot to work in a simulated mine. A height restriction and various obstacles placed throughout the course challenged students in the design of the robot. 

Hillcrest moved into contention for top honors after dominating the presentation day where the group focused on salesmanship and communication in the design and process in creating their robot. Youtube videos and a team website are some of the many tools the group utilized to communicate their team to judges. The group won 1st place in the website competition and 3rd place in the Youtube video.

The preceding day brought Hillcrest's pep-band to watch students Sam Stensrud and Levi Chase direct the robot through the series of obstacles. After driving around obstacles and completing tasks with the robots, the team approached the podium to claim 8 trophies and plaques. Among them was 2nd place in Spirit and Sportsmanship, thanks in large part to the cheering section and pep-band that followed the robotics team.

The finale competition placed an exclamation point on Hillcrest's first year partnership with the Central Lakes Robotics club. Hillcrest engineering instructor Armin Jahr is a lead mentor on the team, representing Hillcrest in the cooperative. Mr. Jahr directs Hillcrest's pre-engineering class to create and complete course design, robot template fabrication, and various other tasks that join in with the pre-engineering curriculum. Clark Grotberg is a lead mentor from the homeschool cooperative who is a key player in the partnership for Hillcrest, providing important leadership for the group through his consistent Christ-like mentorship. The Central Lakes Robotics club is a blessing to the Hillcrest students and community, made evident through the friendships made throughout the course of the season.