Robots are being built in Idaho Falls. And a group of high school students from around eastern Idaho are creating them. The Idaho Falls Robotics Team is gearing up for an international robotics competition. “It’s special because it offers the kids a lot of opportunities,” said Curt Thomas, the Idaho Falls Robotics head mentor.
Exercising their imagination and creativity. “I’ve always been into engineering and robotics,” said Kai Johnson, a member of the robotics team. Working together as a team, bringing pieces of metal and wire to life. “What I really like most about this is seeing the idea going from a basic idea to reality,” said team member Byron Loertscher.
The Idaho Falls Robotics Team will compete in the annual FIRST competition. Which is an organization that promotes the recognition of science and technology to young people. The team will find out their challenge this weekend. “They give you a problem that’s tough to solve, not enough equipment, not enough money and not enough time,” said Thomas. “Which is really [like the] real world if you think about it.”
The team will have six weeks to build a robot capable of accomplishing the assigned challenge. Traveling to Salt Lake City in April to compete against other teams from around the United States.“The competition isn’t, ‘I’m going to get you.” said Thomas. “It’s, ‘How can I help you?’ And it’s always that way and it’s just a lot of fun.”
The team raises money with the help of local businesses and fundraisers they put together, because building one robot might cost $5,000 to $10,000.