MONTE VISTA – Youth from 35 robotics teams from Colorado and New Mexico participated in the RoboRAVE Colorado youth robotics competition on Saturday, April 7 at Monte Vista High School in Monte Vista. This contest, hosted by the San Luis Valley 4-H Robotics program and RoboRAVE International, offered participants the opportunity to compete for prizes in four different events. Local competitors from the San Luis Valley performed strongly in all of the challenges.
San Luis Valley 4-H members swept the awards in the a-MAZE-ing event. Rachel Neuerburg and Karen Holguin-Guzman won first place with their maze navigating robot. Damion Garcia and Ivhan Snyder finished second. Julie Wisener, Brice Wisener, Taylor Adams and Todd Adams came in third.
“Karen and I were pretty surprised we won,” said Neuerburg, 13, of Monte Vista. “Getting the chance to complete the challenge and watching how other teams made their own strategy was great. It felt awesome to take home the medal, but the experience itself was even better.”
In the new Sumobot event, San Luis Valley 4-H members Carson Huffaker and Stefan Guillen won first place with their sumo wrestling robot, besting six competitors in the final tournament. They also had the highest score in preliminary rounds, against 16 other teams. Jordan Deherrera from Monte Vista High School finished second. Kyle and Cody Cooper from San Luis Valley 4-H took home third.
“It felt stunning to win the Sumo tournament and to get a Lego medal,” said Guillen, 10, of Romeo. “My teammate Carson and I had lots of fun.”
In the Jousting event, Chaffee County 4-H members Tristan Ganskow and Ian Helland finished first. San Luis Valley 4-Hers Garrett and Grayson Givens finished second. Chaffee County 4-Hers Tristan Jones and Lukas Piencikowski finished third.
In the middle school division of the Line Follow event New Mexico ASK Academy students Mackenzie Knittel and Shayanne Spell took home first place. San Luis Valley 4-Hers Zak Defaye and Joshua Carbutt finished second. ASK Academy’s Hanah Hanes and Olivia Lynch finished third.
In the high school division for the Line Follow, Boy Scout Troop 185 members Justyce Robinson, Jaxyon Robinson and Gaven DeBerry, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, finished first.
In addition to these event awards, youth were recognized for outstanding teamwork, sportsmanship, grit, and creativity.
“We had so much fun at RoboRAVE Colorado this year,” said Amy Henschen, event director and 4-H youth development agent with Colorado State University Extension. “We’re so grateful to the teams who came to play, and the volunteers, partners and sponsors who helped make the event possible.”
RoboRAVE Colorado is a youth robotics competition for kids ages 8 to 18. The event is a partnership between RoboRAVE International, San Luis Valley 4-H, and the Monte Vista School District. The event is supported by donations from the San Luis Valley 4-H Foundation, Poole Chemical, Monte Vista Coop, Monte Vista Rotary, SLV Health, Monte Vista Kiwanis, Big Valley HobbyTown, and Dairy Queen.
For more information on RoboRAVE Colorado or the 4-H youth development program, visit the San Luis Valley website at http://sanluisvalley.colostate.edu, call 719-852-7381 or email [email protected] 4-H is a cooperative effort between Colorado State University Extension and Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.
Captions: Carson Wolfe, 14, and Cali Wolfe, 8, of Monte Vista, run their SumoBot, complete with narwhal mascot, against a team from La Plata County./Courtesy photos
SLV 4-Hers Rachel Neuerburg and Karen Holguin-Guzman, of Monte Vista, work on programming their winning a-MAZE-ing bot.
All the 1st place winners, including SLV 4-Hers Stefan Guillen and Carson Huffaker (second and third from left) and Rachel Neuerburg and Karen Holguin-Guzman (third and forth from right) show off their first place Lego medals.