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2024 Annual Robotics Challenge Showcases Student Ingenuity

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Sonora, CA– The 2024 Annual Mother Lode Robotics Challenge took place recently at the Sonora Opera Hall, drawing participation from nineteen teams comprising fifth through eighth-grade students hailing from Belleview, Columbia, Soulsbyville, Summerville Elementary, and Twain Harte Schools.

Throughout the academic year, students immersed themselves in the realm of robotics, engaging in a blend of classroom instruction and extracurricular activities. Guided by their educators, they embarked on the journey of building and programming autonomous robots, dedicating hours to testing and refining their creations in preparation for the highly anticipated event. On competition day, each team confronted the challenge of programming SPIKE Prime or EV3 Lego Robots to traverse a complex obstacle course autonomously. Demonstrating their ingenuity and collaborative prowess, students assumed the role of engineers, employing effective communication and inventive strategies to tackle the tasks at hand.

Tricia Dunlap, STEM Coordinator and event organizer, highlighted the fundamental objective of the challenge, stating, “The Mother Lode Robotics Challenge aims to inspire students to transition from passive technology users to creators and innovators. Our goal is for them to have fun while learning.”

The results of the 2024 Robotics Challenge are as follows:

  • First Place: Christopher Garcia and Cylan Blackmore from Twain Harte School clinched the top spot, securing the  Mother Lode Robotics Challenge perpetual trophy.
  • Second Place: Belleview School’s Desmond Thomas, Leroy Portillo, Weston Sindlar, and Alyssa Johnson secured the second position.
  • Third Place: Summerville Elementary’s Laney Mason and Sera Husman secured the third position.