Go, STEVE, Go!
At first it’s difficult to see them in the video: a bunch of Kasson-Mantorville High School students swarming with dozens more students from Minnesota schools at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
It’s a frenzy of activity. Machines are whirling around on a stage.
And then it happens.
STEVE climbs a rope. And the K-M crew goes wild, jumping up and down in elation.
STEVE (Self-aware Technological Electrical Vehicular Entity, named by senior John Klinkhammer) has been the center of their universe for six weeks. And that darned robot came through in the clutch on March 1 at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional robotics competition.
He and his human handlers sent the 27 K-M Robotics Club members to the International FIRST Robotics competition, April 26-29 in St. Louis.
“It’s pretty wild,” K-M Technology Education instructor Chris Otterness said. “The kids are excited. They’ve put a ton of time in it. It’s only a six-week building season, so we only had six weeks to get it built from the time they tell us what the game is until our event. We pretty much put in a ton of hours in six weeks. Got it bagged up, brought it up to Duluth, and had a pretty good showing. It was pretty fun.”