Southland Robotics Teams qualify for World Championship

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(ABC 6 News) – Three Southland Robotics Teams have qualified for the world championship in Dallas, Texas.

“Building a robot and the feeling of having a working robot is so good,” Luka Young, member of Southland Robotics said.

Luka has his eye on the prize. He leads his team the best way he knows how, by staying positive.

“I basically keep my team together, we build the robot until the robots done,” Young said.

And all their hard work paid off. The robots are ready to be put to the test!

“You need to have your A game on when going to worlds,” Young said.

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Meet Kevin. Like Luka, this is his passion. You can see it.

“The best part about this is we get to go to multiple different places. You get to meet multiple. So the fact you get to meet other people wanting to do the same that you are doing creates bonds with other people,” Kevin Garey, a Southland Robotics Member said.

So yes! These are the droids we’re looking for!

“Seeing this all come together in the end, having the robot work, you feel accomplished,” Kaden Helgeson, a Southland Robotics Member said.

But these kids couldn’t have done this alone. They have the best teacher they could ever ask for.

“We’re competing against really strong teams. To see our kids from a small rural school district in Minnesota are at that level, it’s super gratifying to be a part of,” Paula Mortenson, VEX VRC Robotics Coach at Southland School District said.

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These Rebels are no stranger to hard work. They’ve competed at worlds numerous times and want to keep showing what they got.

“This gives everyone the opportunity to advance their skills,” Mortenson said.

Paula’s been running this program for 10 years. Kids were building their robots in a basement at one point, but now they have a huge space! All thanks to grant funding they’ve received over the years!

“When we received about $8,000 worth of equipment, it allowed us to add two more teams,” Mortenson said.

No reboots needed here, the skys the limit!

“Teaching these kids that it doesn’t have to be a grand success, but those little ones can lead to bigger successes down the road,” Mortenson said.

The team will be competing at Worlds in late April.