MSUM Physics Students Build Robots With High Schoolers

Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 11:59 p.m. thousands of teams around the nation put their work to rest. After six weeks of building a robot for the Rebound Rumble competition, part of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), the team of Moorhead high schoolers and MSUM mentors hope their work pays off at the North Star regional competition in Minneapolis, March 29-31.

The FRC combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. Teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. The students’ robot will participate in Rebound Rumble at this year’s competition. The robot will enter a 27 by 54 ft. basketball court with four hoops at each end. The robot will try to score the most points in the allotted time. To watch an example click here.

The team’s nickname is Spudnik, after the Moorhead Spuds, and is spelled in cyrillic. Spudnik is the only team from the F-M area entered in the regional competition.

Professor Steve Lindaas said, “My summary [of the competition] is using robotics to motivate students to understand, appreciate and perhaps pursue STEM fields. Opening opportunities!”

The Moorhead high school students received guidance from Meredith McLinn, Tyler Lane, and Victoria Honetschlager, MSUM physics students and members of the MSUM Society of Physics Students, along with Joe Arner and Justin Sticht, NDSU; professors Steve Lindaas and Matt Craig, MSUM physics and astronomy; and Jeff Schneider, Moorhead High School.

The team is sponsored by the MSUM Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Social and Natural Sciences, and jcpenney provided a generous grant.

To learn more about the FIRST Robotics competition visit their website.