Friday, March 2nd the Weiser Robotics teams traveled to Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho to compete at State. All six Weiser teams were able to compete this year against twenty-five other teams who qualified for State. Weiser was one of ten schools represented at State this year. Robotic teams compete with schools from 1A through 5A and both middle and high schools compete against each other. Five out of the six Weiser teams made it into the quarterfinals where they then battled it out in hopes to make it to the semifinals.

Team Godzilla had a hard fight from the beginning of the competition, but they made their way through the quarterfinals and onto the semifinals. Most matches only last two to three rounds, the alliance to win two out of the three rounds moves on. During the quarterfinals Team Godzilla fought through five rounds to be able to move on. They tied the very first round, something that rarely occurs. They lost the second round and then moved onto the third, but technical issues with the main tower the remotes plug into had their alliance partners stuck and unable to get their robot to move or respond. It was left to Godzilla to battle against two other robots. Godzilla was able to bring its alliance some big points even without its partner, but it just wasn't enough to win the round. Referees conference after the round and the tower was inspected. Officials decided it was not robot error and called the match a do over. This left Team Godzilla in a do or die situation. Their opponents had already won one round and with two rounds not counting they had to get serious if they were going to have a chance to win State. Godzilla and its alliances were able to win the next two rounds and move on to the finals, but their alliances were just not fast enough to out score their opponent and lost to them in the second round. Team Godzilla made up of three seniors, Michael Brooke, Colton Burr and Nathaniel Rasmussen, walked away in Second Place at State. Brooke shared, “I am pretty let down, I thought we would do a lot better. We put a lot of hours into it, but it just didn’t happen.”  Although the loss was crushing to Team Godzilla Burr stated, “I am just really proud of the way our team worked together this year. I have never been on a team that has worked as well together as we did. I am proud of the robot we built. I think that the people we lost to had as good of robots as we did and they just ended up coming in first.”

 Weiser’s all girl team, Gender Bender. made up of Corina Burr, Angela Hayden and Emily Sanchez did very well at State and along with their alliance were undefeated and ranking in at third going into the quarterfinals. Although the Gender Benders did not make the semifinals, they did make a second interview with the junges and won their favor. The Gender Benders walked away from State with the Judges Choice Award. Burr shared, “We are excited about receiving the Judges Choice Award and we are grateful. We plan to be more prepared next year.”

Brenden Hublee, Christopher Thien, Braden Slova-Hale and Max Dahlers team, Vexy and We Know It, also made the quarterfinals. They battled hard, but were not able to make it to the semifinals. They walked away feeling defeated, but were later awarded the Skills Award haven scored the highest in skills for the State tournament. “We were expecting to do much better on our skills score here at State. We were planning on competing against robots in skills worldwide, not just Idaho, but our skills score was too low to compete worldwide,” stated Hublee. Not only did Team Vexy and We Know It get the top score for State this year, but they also have the highest Skills score in the State of Idaho.

Overall, Weiser Robotics did very well this season and at State, Couch Jon Lundberg shared his thoughts on the tournament, “It was a great day! I know it wasn’t quite what some of the teams had hoped for, but they competed so well. They did a great job and I am really proud of them. Most folks don’t know how much time and effort  that my students put into their robots. I want the community to know they worked so hard and each team represented Weiser so well, they can be really proud of them.”