The Kewanee High School Robotics club has advanced to a state championship playoff for the third time in their five-year history. As participants in a national competition, they designed their own robots to accomplish scoring tasks, assembled robots and entered the robots in regional and state competitions. One of two teams placed in the regional and will compete in the Iowa state final at Coralville on February 22. Skills obtained in the process have provided real-world experience in situations the students will encounter in the workplace.
The Kewanee High School Robotics Club is participating in the USA FIRST national competition. Teams must create a robot to complete a set of scoring tasks within a certain time while working with another team as an alliance. This competition was established to encourage high school students to consider a career in the fields of technology and engineering. Founded by Dean Kamen (inventor of Segways), the competition has established nationwide corporate sponsorships.
The team has qualified for the Iowa state competition by advancing through the Pleasant Valley FTC Regional competition in Bettendorf, Iowa on February 8, 2014. Match play exposes high school students to problem solving, familiarity with technology and the ability to operate within a set of guidelines. These are three things that will help them in their careers and help reestablish the United States as an innovative global force.
Dean Kamen said, when he founded this competition, that he wanted "to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." This has been accomplished, in a small part, in Kewanee. Local high school students have competed in an academic contest and have begun the process of becoming successful workers in the technology industry.
With the support of local businesses, like Martin Engineering, B & B Printing, Mine and Process Service and John Deere, Kewanee High school has succeeded in a competition that will prepare students for successful and rewarding careers in the marketplace of the future.