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Annual Robotics Challenge Showcases Young Innovators

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Sonora, CA – On Friday, May 12 the Sonora Opera Hall buzzed with excitement as the annual Mother Lode Robotics Challenge unfolded. This event brought together fourteen teams of fifth through eighth-grade students from Belleview, Curtis Creek, Soulsbyville, Summerville Elementary, and Twain Harte Schools. The young participants showcased their skills in building and programming autonomous robots, which they had been honing throughout the school year in classes and after-school clubs.

Under the guidance of their teachers and mentors, these budding engineers and innovators put their knowledge to the test. The challenge required them to work collaboratively and employ their programming prowess to navigate a complex course with numerous obstacles. Using the SPIKE Prime or EV3 Lego Robots, the teams programmed their creations to traverse the course, demonstrating their problem-solving abilities autonomously.

Tricia Dunlap, the STEM Coordinator and organizer of the event emphasized the significance of the Mother Lode Robotics Challenge in inspiring students to shift from passive technology users to active creators and innovators. “We want to encourage students to unleash their potential and transform their relationship with technology. This event aims to foster their creativity and provide an enjoyable learning experience,” Dunlap expressed.

After an intense day of competition, the results of the 2023 Robotics Challenge were announced. The top honors and the prestigious Mother Lode Challenge perpetual trophy went to the talented trio from Belleview School, comprising Lucas Lassro, Leroy Portillo, and Weston Sindelar.

Belleview School celebrated another victory as Alexander Rodriguez and Hartly Werner, also representing their institution, secured second place.

Summerville Elementary School’s team, consisting of Laney Mason, Tristan Whittington, and Zoe Whittington, achieved third place.

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