This past November, Kimball Area High School started a new Robotics program to enhance experiential learning opportunities for students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies.
KAHS joined and received support from the central Minnesota Dream It! Do It! VEX Robotics organization which is led by
St. Cloud Community and Technical College’s Energy and Electronics Department and their instructor Aaron Barker.
The KAHS Robotics group worked on their robot after school in the Technology Lab at KAHS. Students are mentored by Mr. Kevin Kieke. Kieke is a Kimball area resident and is the Director of Engineering at Sparboe Farms in Litchfield.
This group of dedicated young innovators benefited from teammates’ previous experience in competitive robotics and the shared inspiration found in technology and automation.
Kimball students designed, prototyped and tested their robot in preparation for the central Minnesota VEX Robotics tournament this past Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.
Fifty-one teams from Minnesota high schools, Scout Troops and 4-H programs participated in the competition. Teams were competing for an invitation to the World Vex Robotics Competition in Anaheim, Calif. Worldwide, the VEX Robotics program has more than 3,500 teams from 20 countries competing in more than 250 tournaments.
During the competition, each team is judged on its ability to build, program and control a robot and complete various tasks. During the competition, KAHS competed in seven preliminary rounds. In these rounds our team was paired with another random team and had to compete with another pair of randomly-paired teams. After these rounds, the KAHS Robotics placed seventh of 51 teams with a 6-1 record, which is a strong showing for our new club. Because of the placement in the top eight, KAHS was awarded a seed in the finals. Our team was able to choose two other teams to partner with in the finals. KAHS chose to partner with teams from Sartell and Fosston. The finals are a single elimination two out of three format. In the end, we were eliminated in the first round of the finals by 2 points.
The robot is now being prepared for demonstration in effort to show and share the future of productivity
and innovation to our students and community. The group is also preparing for next year’s competitive events. KAHS Robotics also offers opportunities in social media, community relations, project management and more. There is plenty of room for more student involvement to benefit from this cutting-edge program.
The program empowers students to create and design their ideas bringing them to life and action. Robotics provides
connectivity and pathways to future careers in critical demand STEM related occupations.
KAHS Robotics thanks Kevin for his genuine commitment and personal investment of his knowledge, skills and abilities. His important involvement has focused and propelled our program.
KAHS Robotics also sincerely appreciates Mr. John Arnold and Arnold Companies, Inc. of Kimball, for their generous financial program support and theirstrategic investment into the preparedness of Kimball’s future workplace talent.
Shown from left are Ben Zipoy, Hunter Schreifels, Ted Zipoy and Kevin Kieke at the VEX Robotics Tournament doing robot modifications between heats.
Story and photo submitted by Tim Zipoy.