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Robo Dweebs Places 2nd for the Minnesota Programming Award

Sunday, February 12, as millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, the Two Harbors High School Robo Dweebs made robotics the game of the day. According to Lead Coach Jenna Udenberg, the day began with “nervous energy, lots of tired chatter, and great anticipation” as the team spent the morning setting up, preparing their final presentation, and organizing their “spaces and thought processes.”

The first part of the day for the Robo Dweebs was filled with back-to-back robot games and presentations. “They made the judges laugh with their humor and lessons learned,” Udenberg recalled. Midday the Robo Dweebs learned they would have two callbacks for Minnesota Programming and Creative Project Presentation. Just by being at State, Robo Dweebs had made the top 15% of the LEGO Robotics teams in Minnesota, but by attaining this callback, they moved to the top 1%.

“Watching this team prepare for callbacks promotes a sense of awe,” Udenberg said. “The teamwork and trust that is built and depended upon in those moments before walking into a room with three or more judges for 15-20 minutes of presentation and rapid-fire questioning is indescribable.”

After the callbacks, and while waiting for the award ceremony, the team had fun continuing their tradition of building LEGO mini figures and swapping parts to create their “new State team picture.”

Over six months of practices, totaling over 170 hours, paid off when Robo Dweebs #5501 became the 2nd place winner of the Minnesota Programming Award for the 2023 Boston Scientific State Championship by High Tech Kids.

“The Robo Dweebs #5501 [have] a lot to be proud of this season and as a veteran robotics program in its 10th year. They represented themselves, their families, their school, our community, and our sponsors very well,” Udenberg concluded.

What’s next for the Robo Dweebs? Though their competitive season is done for the year, their off-season time will be used to continue skill building with activities such as robot obstacle courses, dancing robots, solving a rubik’s cube. Robo Dweebs will also be learning the new robots they are slated to receive, thanks to their sponsors and donors. Grant writing and looking for scholarships are also on the docket, as Udenberg expects next season to be more expensive due to rising costs and a need for new laptops and other technology.

If there are any team openings, a recruitment camp will be held in early June. Robo Dweebs would love to have more adults join so more teams or a club could be offered.

“We also will continue our community outreach in helping our Canadian team – the Flock – prepare for their competitions,” Udenberg adds, saying that they will also “connect with our team in Japan, who also just finished their competitive season as well.”

A celebration with two local teams will be held soon, as well as the annual team banquet when the weather “is better for outdoor fun.” On March 3rd and 4th, Robo Dweebs will be supporting Rock Solid #4656 as they head to competition at the DECC.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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