The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 7, 2014

OHS Robotics Team is going to world competition

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa High School Robotics Team — “The Sock Monkeys” — are on their way to world competition in St. Louis later this month.

The team earned a victory in the Super Regionals held Saturday at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. There were 71 teams at the Super Regional competition. The teams came from across the nation — “from Washington state to Washington, D.C.,” team member Logan Gross said.

“We got six points away from beating the world’s record,” team member Molly Bleything said.

“We weren’t expecting this,” Bleything said. “I’m proud of us. … This is really awesome.”

There will be two teams from Iowa competing in the world competition — the OHS team and the Beta team from Des Moines, Bleything said. In all, there will be 128 teams competing, she said.

“One of the refs that we know made us ‘pinky promise’ that we’d paint the (robot) scoop for the competition,” Bleything said.

The competition will be held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

“It’s a four-day event” from April 23 to 26, Gross said.

The team has three weeks to prepare.

Besides getting their robot ready for competition, the team needs to raise funds.

There is a $1,000 registration fee, Robotics Team coach Steve Dixon said. Plus, the students need to raise funds for room, board, transportation and meals, he added.

“We can do fund-raisers,” Bleything said.

In addition to raising funds, the team members have to maintain their grades while devoting time to getting their robot up to competition specifications.

“It’s a big balancing game,” Bleything said.

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