Robotics Team Becomes State Champions

Colleen Mortell, Staff Writer

The Notre Dame Robotics Team competed in the first annual Wisconsin State Robotics Tournament on Saturday, February 22.

First-ranked St. Mary’s Central from Menasha selected Notre Dame to partner with them for tournament play.

The Notre Dame-St. Mary’s alliance defeated the Oconomowoc-Appleton Xavier team in the finals, naming them state champions.

”The team has made tremendous strides over the past three years,” NDA club moderator, Mr. Adam Dietzo said.

Winning the state title also qualifies them for both the World Robotics Competition, held in Anaheim, California, and the International Robotics Competition, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“State went by really fast.  We didn’t really realize what was going on until we were in the finals,” senior member Mitch Gwidt said.

A typical robotics competition is played on a 12 foot square field.  There are two alliances (red and blue) that make up two teams.  There are four large balls and ten smaller balls per alliance.  When scored, each ball will gain points for the team.

The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring colored balls into the middle zone and goal zone.

There are also vertical goals that alliances can score points by stacking their colored balls.

There is a two inch barrier separating the zones on the field.  Teams will have to build their robots to travel over the barrier carefully.  A twelve inch high barrier is also separating the zones.  Some teams may want to design their robots to get under the obstacle.

The team anticipates to attend the World Robotics Competition in California. This is the most prestigious robotics event offered.

NDA’s robotics team has never made it this far in the past.

“It’s exciting being invited to California because it was always a dream that was far off.  When others and I first joined the team, it was more of an imagination, but now it’s becoming a reality,” Gwidt added.

The robotics team is comprised of students from all grade levels, all of whom have different responsibilities: everything from design to construction to programming.

“Our achievements over this year are astronomical compared to the past two years,” said junior Jordan Kieltyka, who has been a member of the robotics team for three years.

Robotics team members work whenever they can find the time. Long hours are often worked in the evenings and on weekends. During the week leading up to a competition, it’s not unusual for team members to work until 10-11 p.m.

“We would like to take a moment to thank our sponsors, without whom we would not be operational nor as successful. Our sponsors include Zepnick Solutions, Ganther Construction, QComp, Midland Plastics, BayCare Clinic, and The Elegant Moose,” Dietzo said.