Storm Robotics Qualifies for World Championship

On Saturday, April 17, the Storm Robotics VEX 9210B team qualified for the world championship competition, VEX Worlds, at the state tournament. VEX Worlds will be a virtual event this year, taking place May 17–22. The world championship qualification is the third consecutive one for Storm Robotics.

The 9210B team includes members Zachary Peterson, Nathan Peterson, Benaiah Hinz, Charles Peterson and Ethan Doering.

Storm Robotics VEX 9210B Team holds trophy

A Challenging but Successful Year

Storm Robotics teams participated in 10 remote and in-person competitions this year, even in the face of COVID-19 barriers. That is the most events the group has ever competed in during one season.

Nathan Peterson, a member of the 9210B team, says although this year has been challenging, the activity continues to see success in the face of adversity. “I am very happy with how successful we have been this year. Even though the pandemic has limited some of our program’s opportunities, Storm Robotics has really pulled through with great-minded students who have created powerful and very successful teams. The substantial improvement in each team has really proven to show the great potential we have to offer.”

Diversity as Strength

The team’s head coach Adam Johnson says the program’s path to success—this year and in years past—is due to the teams’ diverse skills and what each individual brings to the table. “Robotics is a place for everyone. The best teams have a variety of students from different backgrounds and interests. Some students enjoy tinkering with things, and some enjoy programming. Some like business, some like video gaming or driving robots. We have had great success because these students with varied skills get together and collaborate and elevate each other.”

Benaiah Hinz feels involvement in Storm Robotics has developed competencies in him that will benefit him throughout life. “I have learned great problem-solving skills, as well as mechanical and programming skills. I hope to go into some form of engineering for my career.”

Along with career-building skills, Storm Robotics offers students the chance to be a part of a supportive community, where friendships and life-long hobbies take root. Ethan Doering says, “High school is tough, from the ACT to other challenges, but robotics has definitely pushed my brain to my limits at times and helped me find hobbies and what I want to do in the future.” Charlie Peterson agrees: “Being involved in robotics was a great way for me to be welcomed into the Storm community. Coming from a tiny school where everyone knows each other, this activity has helped me get a grip on the speed of high school. I am grateful for what the program does here and I feel lucky to be able to be part of the legacy.”

Legacy Built Through Role Models

Coach Johnson feels the Storm Robotics legacy stems from the team involvement across the whole school program. “I think it is important that younger students see the examples of the more experienced students and see them as role models. We have a culture of hard work and dedication in the activity of VEX Robotics. We have a motto: Building successful students, one robot at a time.”

Zachary Peterson, another 9210B team member, echoes Johnson’s beliefs: “At Sauk Rapids-Rice we all have our own teams, but the whole group of Storm teams work together to help each other out and try to push each other to improve.”

Charlie Peterson adds, “I think the secret to our success is the welcoming environment and the encouragement from everyone, especially Mr. Johnson, who wants us to do well and have fun.”

Congratulations, Storm Robotics, on another successful year!