Wolves’ robotics program continues to build

Saturday, January 13, 2018 - 15:02

Basketballs and the squeak of tennis shoes gave way to robots and the buzz of electric motors inside the Eagle River High gymnasium on Saturday, Dec. 9, as the school’s robotics program hosted 20-team FIRST Tech Challenge state qualifying tournament.

Among the ERHS teams in competition, coach Matthew Prnka said the “Nuclear Wolves” teamed with a squad from Dimond High to place second overall and also won the event’s Think Award for having the best engineering notebook. The school’s “Phantom Wolves” team went 6-0 in qualifying matches and finished third overall. A third ERHS team — the Cyber Wolves — placed eighth.

Prnka said all three teams have qualified for the state tournament, which will be held later this winter in Fairbanks.

The FIRST Tech Challenge pits teams against each other in challenges of their robot-building abilities. Teams are responsible for the design, programming and building of the robots, which are then used to compete in head-to-head competition.

In addition to the chance to advance to state, regional and international competitions, participants can also qualify for nearly $10 million in college scholarships.

For more, visit jedc.org/firstinalaska.

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