By Nez Savala
What connects high school students with robots and strategic alliances? FIRST Robotics competition.
Through a strategic alliance, the Wentzville School District’s Ratchet Rockers robotics team won the FIRST St. Louis Regional Competition at Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University in early March. FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is an innovative program that encourages students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and career opportunities. In an atmosphere that feels as electric as a high school basketball play-off game mixed with the high energy music of a dance party, FIRST competition events focuses on teamwork and sportsmanship.
At the St. Louis Regional, the Ratchet Rockers, FRC 1706, competed against 52 teams from seven states. After qualifying rounds, they earned second place, and finished with a record of 13-3-0. With ingenuity, hard work and a competitive 1st seed alliance with FRC Team 1731 Hilltopper Robotics and FRC Team 537 Charger Robotics, both from Wisconsin, the Ratchet Rockers went undefeated in finals, earning a spot at FIRST World Championships, April 27-29 at America’s Center in St. Louis.
“This level of performance doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because of dedicated, hardworking students and mentors, backed by the support of the school district and our generous sponsors,” said Darrell Wodrich, head coach. “I am very proud of this team.”
The Ratchet Rockers includes nearly 50 students from all three WSD high schools – Holt, Liberty and Timberland. The team competed at the Rocket City Regional in Huntsville, Ala., March 23-March 25.
To learn more about the WSD Ratchet Rockers, check out their website – www.ratchetrockers1706.org
Follow the team on Twitter @FRC1706 and Facebook.com/rr1706.
To learn about FIRST Robotics – https://www.firstinspires.org/