Pat, who is going on 107 years old, says she was surprised that her difficulty breathing was caused by a heart problem, not her lungs.
This week on Minnesota Native News, the robotics team from White Earth’s Circle of Life Academy takes their robot to compete in the regional tournament in Minneapolis. Reporter Melissa Townsend brings us the story.
INTRO: This week on Minnesota Native News, the robotics team from White Earth’s Circle of Life Academy takes their robot to the regional tournament. Reporter Melissa Townsend brings us the story.
SOUND OF STUDENTS AND MENTOR WORKING IN COLA LAB
DOUG: What we’re going to do is, we’re going to put those on…
MELISSA: Doug Schulz is the adult mentor to the robotics team at the Circle of Life Academy.
There are 6 students in the group and they meet 4 times a week.
It’s early February and the group is building their robot from scratch.
The team is building this robot designed specifically to compete in a big robotics tournament in late March.
DOUG: We’re going to have some motors that suck the cube in here…
The robot has to be able to pick up a stuffed cube, lift if over its head and drop it on a platform behind its back.
The robot will do all these things — by remote control.
[fade out building sounds]
[fade in tournament sound]
It’s the end of March now and we’re here at the North Star and Medtronic Regional FIRST Robotics Tournament in Minneapolis.
We’re at an arena on the University of Minnesota Campus.
The Ogichidaa team from White Earth is here with Squeevercoon - their robot.
They’re competing with 59 other teams from around Minnesota.
They are the only tribal school team here.
The team includes TITUS, JOEY, CAMERON, OLIVIA AND DEREK.
Titus Alvarado is the team captain. He is 15 and in 9th grade.
MELISSA: How long have you been doing robotics?
TITUS: Ah, first year.
MELISSA: What got you interested?
TITUS: Friends told me to join robotics and I got nothing to do at home so. Gave it a shot and I like building, engineering, learning about new things.
MELISSA: What do you think about all these other teams?
TITUS: Good robots, cool designs.
The Ogichidaa robot is also a cool design.
It stands about 3 feet tall.
It has a metal frame with plexiglass sheets that protect its inner core of wires, tubes and other machinery.
It moves on wheels.
MELISSA: So are you excited to be here? How does it feel?
TITUS: A little nervous. But fun. (:09)
There is a field set up on the arena floor where the robots compete.
Each team is trying to score as many points as they can in each round.
How do you score points?
Your robot picks up small yellow stuffed cubes from the floor and puts them on one of two small platforms.
It’s actually more complicated than that - but that is the basic idea.
[doot doo doot music]
The round begins and the Circle of Life robot takes off toward the middle of the field but then it stops.
It stutters back and forth.
I’m watching with Team member Olivia Mason.
MELISSA: Is it stuck?
OLIVIA: Seems - probably the connection went out with the robot and the system.
When the round is over, the team carries the robot off the field back to the pit.
I catch up with Titus again.
MELISSA: OK, so that first round didn’t exactly go as you had planned, huh?
TITUS: Yea, we lost the left side of our motor. So we are trying to figure out what’s going on. We got a new joy stick to figure out if that does anything.
In a few minutes, with a new joy stick and a new computer, the team gets another chance in round 2.
[doot doo doot music]
Squeevercoon takes off.
MELISSA: Man it’s working great now. 1,2,3,4,5 cubes. Oop - there is another robot totally in the way. Oh that aint right. That robot is totally blocking you - on purpose?
OLIVIA: Yup, they are trying to defend the blue shoots on the other side.
Even with the other team’s block, the Ogichidaa team does exactly what they planned.
In the end Squeevercoon has landed 5 cubes on the switch.
Back at the pits — Doug Schulz talks to his team
DOUG: I am the proud proud proud coach of team 3367 Ogichidaa robotics. That was awesome you guys. We had failed but we found some resources, we got some help and we competed. I’m super excited about that match. And now we’re going to run for it.
The Ogichidaa team and their robot Squeevercoon competed in 10 qualifying rounds in total.
In the end, they were awarded the Switch Master Award.
Congratulations Ogichidaa team from Circle of Life Academy.
For Minnesota Native News, I”m Melissa Townsend.
Vicki Stenerson has played lots of important roles in Bemidji’s theater community. In “Leading Ladies,” put on by the Bemidji Community Theater, Vicki’s role takes her off-stage and behind-the-scenes. She’ll direct the comedy that’s rich in quick wit and – yes, a few adult themes. Vicki joined us this morning to tell us more about the production.