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Janesville high school robotics team competes in Nationals

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Gazette staff
April 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—The Janesville Craig and Parker high school FIRST Robotics Team placed 63 out of 100 teams in its robotics division at a national competition in St. Louis last week.

The team, named the Rock n' Robots, had won in the Lake Superior robotics Regional in Duluth, Minn. earlier this year to earn a slot at the FIRST Robotics Competition nationals, which was held last week at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.  

The team made the journey to the competition, which ran from April 22 to April 26, partly through local donations.

The Janesville team, which is made up of Craig and Parker high school students interested in robotics, faced teams in its division from Israel, Mexico and France.

Overall, the competition had 400 teams and more than 10,000 students from 35 countries worldwide participating.

Robotics teams compete against each other using robots they build themselves to score points using balls in timed matches and direct robots on grids to score points.

Janesville's FIRST team squared off against 100 schools in qualifying rounds in the week-long tournament, but failed to qualify for the competition's finals.

Janesville's team is in its fourth year, but the tournament in St. Louis was the highest level of competition it has faced.

Coach Tom Heiss, a teacher at Parker, said the team actually scored a higher score in the qualifying round than one of its division competitors scored in the finals, which is run like a slotted, final-four tournament.

“We did really well for the first time being there (at Nationals), and they got great experience with how other students from different countries worked on and competed with their projects,” Heiss said.



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