North High’s Robotic Team Competes in its First World Championship

DES MOINES, Iowa – One Des Moines Public School’s robotics team is competing for the first time against schools from across the world.

North High School is going to the “FIRST Championship” in Detroit on Tuesday. The competition has 1,400 teams from 60 countries competing against one another.

The robotics program at North High School focuses on STEM learning. STEM is science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Harding Middle School and Coach Bryan Butcher said the team focuses mainly on one of the STEM subjects.

“Probably more of the engineering side from my perspective. They creatively have to solve problems, and they have to solve problems through an engineering mode,” Butcher said.

Butcher said the students will be competing against 64 teams in their division alone,

“They have never been in a competition that large before. So, I think that is going to be pretty important for them to learn what it’s like to be in a very large competition and have nine matches that they are going to play,” Butcher said.

The robot the students created is called Fluffy 11.0. It can lift six by six-inch foam blocks, move forward, move backwards and sense colors with an arm.

North High School student Parker Jarrett said the robotics team helped him find a group of students.

“Providing not only a place to stay after school, but I guess something to do that isn’t basketball or any other sport," Jarrett said.

The team will be in nine matches at the championship.

“They’re going to have three more matches than they normally do. So, they are going to have to think strategically what do they need to do for the robot to get through all nine of those matches,” Butcher said.

Jarrett said last year during a competition the team had to resolve a problem in a short amount of time.

“Part of our robot actually broke, so I went into our building area and I built a brand-new part out of a water bottle and some legos. So, we just improvise,” Jarrett said.

The competition will take place April 25-28th.

Team members include:

  • Trent Rover
  • Guy Payton
  • Parker Jarrett
  • Parker Swigert
  • Brodie Bates
  • Lysa Nguyen
  • Emily Bosehart
  • Cham Suan