ABERDEEN, S.D. Roncalli High School has a new club for students to join involving robotics. It's a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team inspiring its members to operate robots and compete head-to-head, but it takes some work to prepare for the battle of the bots.
The Roncalli Robo-Cavs recently received the title of Nebraska State FTC Champions.
"We're ecstatic. It was just an unbelievable feeling. We're just so happy with all the help that we've had over the past couple months," Roncalli High School Senior Matthew Perry said.
That first place title was awarded at their second competition ever.
"It's kind of a thing that's saying the rookies or the people who have never done this before 'hey its fine,' we didn't do this before and we won, so you should totally join and we can work together to hopefully win more," Roncalli High School Freshman William Goscicki said.
The Robo-Cavs have to put in plenty of practice time to make sure things go smoothly.
"We're looking at upgrading our motors as the ones we have are starting to fail a little bit," Perry said. "Also, some improvements that we've seen from other robots that have been at the competitions."
The Roncalli FIRST Tech Challenge Club started just last year with hopes to grow in members.
"We show the robot off and the kids talk to the other kids explaining a little bit about the team and encouraging them to contact me to be a part of the team next year," FIRST Tech Challenge Coach Jennifer Goscicki said.
Students hope to continue being involved with robotics in the future.
"It will definitely be apart of my future life as I plan to be a farmer," Perry said. "Kind of a new part of agriculture which is precision agriculture and that allows us to use more technology to make more informed decisions, which could eventually lead to the use of drones and self-driving tractors and everything like that."
The Roncalli team will head to the North Super Regional Championship in Iowa next month. They'll compete against 71 other teams representing 9 U.S. states.