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WDC robotics team begins its 2018 season

WDC's robotics team, from left to right: Elissa Ikola, Leah Spilman, Isaac Ries, Coach Shane Snyder, Andrew Kine, Richelle Bravo, McKenna Wangsness, Kelsey Miller and Caleb Cully. Not pictured: Bailey Kaufman. Dana Cantleberry, WDC Schools.1 / 2
WDC robotics team opening their kit of parts at the 2018 kickoff on Jan. 6 at Central Lakes College in Staples. Photo by Shane Snyder, WDC Schools.2 / 2

The Wadena-Deer Creek robotics team recently participated in 2018 FIRST Robotics kickoff on Jan. 6 at Central Lakes College in Staples.

Nicknamed the "Swolverines," the robotics team received their kit of parts to build their robot, as well as learned of their new challenge for 2018 called "Power Up!" Students have six weeks to design, build, program and test their robot to meet the season's engineering challenge.

According to WDC Robotics coach Shane Snyder, the team is already brainstormings ideas on how to build a robot that can meet the game challenge. "Kids are excited to start building and tackling the challenge," said Snyder, who's in his fourth year as the robotics coach.

The Swolverines include veterans Elissa Ikola, Leah Spilman, Isaac Ries, Andrew Kine, Bailey Kaufman, McKenna Wangsness, and newcomers Richelle Bravo, Kelsey Miller and Caleb Cully.

The team meets after school, Monday through Friday, and even on weekends, to build the robot at the middle/high school. Many hours and time are spent building this mechanical robot for the FIRST Robotics regional competition March 28-31 at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. More than 100 teams are expected to compete.This is WDC's eighth year participating in robotics.

The purpose of the First Robotics program is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in a mentor-based program that builds science, engineering and technology skills.

Visit WDC Schools' website for weekly updates on the Swolverines' robot at www.wdc2155.k12.mn.us. To follow the Swolverines on Facebook go to "Wadena-Deer Creek Swolverines" or on Twitter @WDCswolverines.

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