ICE Robotics Team Moves on to FIRST World Championships

Robotics team ICE (Innovation, Collaboration & Excellence) participated in the FIRST (For inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) World Championship in St. Louis April 26-29. The team is made up of students from Dowling Catholic, Des Moines Public Schools, Urbandale Community School District, West Des Moines Community School District and Waukee Community School District (WCSD). WCSD team members include Brenden Hinspeter, Brett Hatch and Aubree Lange- all Waukee Timberline students.

The FIRST World Championship Robotics Competition is the world’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and math for students. Over 15,000 students from 33 countries around the world traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for the competition. Team ICE received the Inspiration Rookie award, which is given to only three of the 700 teams in attendance.

“FIRST is a robust community of students, mentors, volunteers, and sponsors from all over the world. Each has their own unique qualities that make them a champion, but we are all united by our passion for using technology and engineering to make the world a better, safer, and healthier place,” said FIRST president, Donald E. Bossi.

ICE formed in April of 2016 and applied immediately for the STEM Scale Up Grant from the State of Iowa. After receiving this grant the team began meeting regularly in August. In October, the team competed in their first competition at the Cowtown Throwdown in Lees Summit, Missouri.

“My Dad used to be a teacher at all of the school districts and he kept in touch with a lot of students. He decided to put the team together because we all shared similar interests,” said Aubree Lange, Waukee team member. “The best part about competing has been getting to know all of the team members and growing together as a group.”

Team ICE participated in the Greater Kansas City Regional March 15-18 where they qualified for the World Championships, and moved on to the Seven Rivers Regional in La Crosse, Wisconsin, April 12-15. The team received the Rookie Awards at both the regional competition and World Championship for their outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers within their schools and communities.

Before the World Championships, the team received their challenge in January which outlined what the team was supposed to program their robots to do. After receiving the challenge, the teams have only six and a half weeks to come up with a solution. The link to the animation can be found here.

“Team ICE was honored to receive the Rookie All-Star Award at the Seven Rivers Regional in La Crosse, WI.” said Valley High school Robotics coach, Dean Lange. “This group was more than excited to be representing our schools and communities at the FIRST Championships, and to receive the Rookie Inspiration award is a great honor.”ICE