Local robotics team makes it to quarterfinals at worldwide competition

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A group of local high schoolers are putting their after school hours to good use. 11 students, all from different high schools, including two middle schools, spend hours building and designing robots with their High Five Robotics team.

"People here are just genuinely good people to surround yourself with,” said Sophia Wright, 9th grader from Central High School.

The High Five Robotics team was established six years ago. As the projects kept growing, they needed some extra elbow space. This year they moved into the Makers Space at the Business Incubator in Grand Junction.

Every year they recruit new members to take to the world robotics competition. They have six weeks starting in January to design, construct, and show off their robots.

"I think we actually had a very successful season this year,” said Jason Bogart, Assistant Coach, High Fives Robotics Team.

Designing these high tech, mobile machines all from scratch, is a piece of cake for these students.

"So we make two robots. We make our competition bot and our practice bot,” said Quinn Riddell-Brosig, 7th grader from West Middle School.

All high schoolers are welcome to join the team, no prerequisite required. They also take two middle school interns.

"I did all the C.A.D., which is the computer-aided design, so modeling it so it was really fun. Seeing it go from just a model on a computer to seeing it built,” said Riddell-Brosig, middle school intern.

Each year, they set out to raise $5,000 for supplies and travel expenses so they can compete at the world championships.

"You're basically building your own business behind the scenes,” said Wright.

This year they made it to the quarterfinals. They traveled to Denver and Salt Lake City, Utah to compete.

Aerospace manufacturer Boeing set this year’s challenge.

"The robot would put the yellow hatch panels onto the ships in order to hold the cargo and then it would take these orange balls which were cargo and load it in behind that,” said Bogart.

This program gives students more than just engineering skills.

"The unforeseen things are public speaking skills, two years ago there was no way that I would have been able to talk to any crowd or stand in front of people and talk,” said Zachery Guptill, 11th grader at Palisade High School.

Not only advancing their academic skills but also helping them personally.

"I had gone through a really rough time and I needed something to do with my time and I was just surrounded by good, goal orientated people with similar interests,” said Wright.

If you want to join the high fives robotics team next year, send them an email at thehifives@gmail.com.