It’s an exciting time for 20+ students and mentors who are working through the inaugural season of FIRST® Robotics at St. Francis. Since last fall, students have been meeting to learn about FIRST Robotics and build their team. They officially registered and will be representing St. Francis Highs School as team #7068, known as the Mechanical Masterminds (aka M2). This name represents the desire of the team to reach for excellence in our mechanical thinking and strive to achieve the impossible in our technical work.
The “Build Season” started on January 6, and this newly formed “Rookie” team is busy strategizing for spring competitions. Students and mentors are collaborating to completely design, program and build a robot in six short weeks. The team will then focus on the game and prepare for the regional tournament at the University of Minnesota that is held March 29 to 31.
FIRST Robotics combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Students work with professional engineers to build and compete. Along the way, they learn and use sophisticated hardware and software. It’s more than just building a robot though. Students learn project management, teamwork, business acumen and marketing, strategic and critical thinking, conflict resolution, and presentation skills.
The team is being coached by Joe Bruhjell, 8th Grade Technology Education Teacher and Science/STEM Specialist. St. Francis is fortunate to have a Todd Kruse, Engineer at Delta ModTech, guide us as a seasoned mentor from Isanti’s 4H team. Other committed mentors are Clarissa Dobson, SFHS Science Teacher, Nick Rosengren, Delta ModTech Engineer and SFHS parent, and Char Provost, Director at Medtronic and SFHS parent.
It takes a village to maintain this program. Several parents have stepped forward to help, but more volunteers are needed to mentor in a wide-variety of areas. While the focus is on engineering and building a robot, many other talents are also needed on the team such as marketing, finance, fundraising, photography, communications, graphics, and project management.
Sponsors are the lifeblood of a FIRST Robotics team. As we started the season, sponsors for the Mechanical Masterminds are St. Francis School District, Delta ModTech, and Medtronic. To sustain this new organization, more sponsors are needed for financial backing, equipment donations, and even partnering with us to contribute meals, promotional items, or basic supplies while our students work through the Build Season. Please visit our Sponsor web page for more information.
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