Updated: 01/04/2014 6:11 PM
Created: 01/04/2014 5:14 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
All the cold weather may have you thinking about hockey, but another growing high school sport is kicking off a new season in the Northland. Students geared up for robotics on Saturday.
The FIRST Robotics Competition reboot happened on Saturday giving athletes from 20 Northland schools the challenge for this year's robots. A live feed from NASA excited students like Denfeld Sophomore Crystal Armstrong.
“We kept looking around and we're like, 'Oh my gosh.' We were just freaking out and we were all shaking from the excitement,” Armstrong said.
She said the reboot was so exciting because the competition changes every year. Last year students built robots to fling frisbees, but now they have to hurl 2 foot exercise balls.
After the announcement teams jumped right into brainstorming because they don't have long to go from the drawing board to a fully functional robot. Armstrong said it can be a demanding process.
“During the six-week build period it's quite the grueling process. I mean your diet consists of pizza and Mountain Dew and staying after school until like 8 or 9 at night,” Armstrong said.
The sport is growing with new teams cropping up across the Northland, but Owen Cruikshank from Two Harbors said his team, Rock Solid Robotics, found out there is a steep learning curve.
“Last year it was a lot more difficult to jump into everything and we didn't know how anything really worked so we were learning as we go. This year we have a little more knowledge,” Cruikshank said.
Students pick up skills in everything from engineering to computer programing and that helps them score more real-world opportunities.
“If you go on the U.S. FIRST website they have so many scholarships for FIRST members and it definitely helps with internships. As I mentioned before there is the old captain of the East High team who is doing an internship at NASA, which I think is super awesome,” Armstrong said.
The athletes said tinkering with components and drafting designs is a fun way to kick start a career.
The sport moves quickly. Teams got kits including electronic components and engine parts on Saturday. Many teams said they would begin building on Sunday.
Duluth Aviation Partnership to Benefit Workforce, City, Industry
A new partnership announced Monday between the city of Duluth, the airport and Lake Superior College is aimed at strengthening the aviation industry and filling jobs that companies say they desperately need to fill. The plan calls for a financial investment from the city and Duluth airport to remodel Hanger 103...
Prosecutor: Ferguson Announcement Coming at 8 p.m.
The St. Louis County prosecutor's office has announced plans for an 8 p.m. news conference to announce whether a grand jury has indicted a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Weekend Fire Closes CASDA's Emergency Shelter
A small grease fire over the weekend has led to major damage at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) in Superior. The shelter was at capacity, but the clients have been able to find other places to stay.
Glensheen Mansion Gears up for Christmas
Volunteers and staff at Glensheen are getting the 39-room mansion ready for Christmas. It's almost time for the public to come and see the efforts, with the final touches of shimmer and shine being put in place this week.
Why Black Friday Deals Start on "Gray Thursday"
When you're looking to score a holiday deal, that doesn't mean you have to wait until Black Friday. About 15 retailers in the Twin Ports area are opening on Thanksgiving Day.