Albert Lea High School robotics team competes in world championship

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(ABC 6 News) – The Albert Lea High School robotics team, ‘The Broken Zip Ties,’ join over 800 teams in Dallas, TX for the Vex Robotics World Championship.

They are just one of the 14 teams from Minnesota, returning to international competition for the second year in a row!

There are eight separate divisions, The Broken Zip Ties, or team 24118E, are competing in the ‘Arts’ division. You can check their current progress on the competition website.

At last check, they ranked #39 out of 81 teams!

Sophomore and team captain Brecken Koepke says, the best part is getting to do what he loves.

“It’s really just an awesome experience, getting to be out here,” Koepke says. “There’s 818 total teams here, so it’s really exciting to see all these teams, and form these connections and bond over something we all love. It’s a great time, super competitive, and really fun.”

The competition is three long days, and they’re not easy.

Coach Burke Egner explains, a lot of teamwork and quick problem solving is involved, and the team has risen above and beyond many challenges.

With the teams success, Coach Egner says, there’s nowhere to go but up.

“I couldn’t be anymore proud of these kids, they really put a lot in,” says Egner. “This is an exciting opportunity for these kids. One of the things they get from robotics is not just the building and the coding skills, its also those soft skills of learning how to communicate with others.”

The team is thankful for the support from the Albert Lea community as they continue to grow and improve each year.

Coach Egner and Koepke encourage more people to get involved in robotics, no prior experience required!

Next year, Coach Burke hopes to have an all-girl team, and of course, return to the world stage.