Liberty High School hosts Missouri State Robotics Championship

The Wentzville Ratchet Rockers Robotics Team 1706 is comprised of students from all three of the Wentzville high schools students. This past year they wowed the competition at the St. Louis Regional. The team not only won the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation, but they competed in the finals. Team 1706, along with their alliance partners from Sussex, WI, The Charger Robotics Team 537, and Team 1732 from Milwaukee, WI, the Hilltoppers, clinched the ever coveted title of St. Louis Regional Champions. The team went on to compete at the Rocket City Regional, where they won the prestigious Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors. “It showed us that hard work pays off,” Connor Fogarty, Sophomore from Timberland High School.  Out of the 50 teams competing, the local team finished in 4th place; but, the season wasn’t over there. The team qualified to compete at the World Championships, which was held in St. Louis, where they competed in the Tesla Division. It was here that their season ended in the Quarterfinals.

After competing at the World Championships, the Ratchet Rockers partnered together with The Lutheran Roboteers, Team 4329 to host the Missouri State Championships. It was here that the top 24 teams in the state came to Wentzville’s own Liberty High School, to compete for the Missouri State Title. “We are thrilled about our long standing friends and partners in the Roboteers.  And are happy that we have been able to partner with them in various community and competition events over the years.”  states Darrell Wodrich.  Wentzville’s own Ratchet Rockers, partnered with team 1806 SWAT Robotics  and Team 2357 System Meltdown competed and lost in the final round. With the State Title going home with the alliance comprised of 1986 Team Titanium, The Broncobots Team 1987, and Team 4600 the Tech Titans.

On January 6, the Ratchet Rockers partnered with The Lutheran Roboteers, Team 4329, and Lindenwood University to Host the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff. At the kick off 17 teams attended to watch the Live presentation from First Robotics to announce this years Game Challenge. It was here that the teams received their start up kit. “This was an amazing opportunity to partner with Lindenwood University to help spread the message of STEM through First Robotics.”- Teri Clark, mentor Ratchet Rockers Team 1706.

This year the team is already at work finishing up their 6 weeks of build season to compete in First Power Up. The Ratchet Rockers meet M-Th from 5-9, and Saturdays from 8-5 in Wentzville at Pearce Hall on Pearce Blvd.  On Saturdays, they host teams from all over the state to come and use their field, game elements, and work together on all aspects of the team from Computer Automated Design, to working with the tools, down to what the business team students. “Coopertition Saturdays are really important to not only spread the message of FIRST but to also offer a helping hand to other teams in the area.  We benefit from having an established, and developed business team, since our team is over 10 years old” Alysan Amann, Senior at Liberty High School.

The team has received generous donations from various companies within the community such as Boeing, Schneider Electric, Wentzville Community Club, Cuivre River Electric, GM, Ranken Technical Institute and the Wentzville School District to help offset some of the costs of building the robot, competition fees, and travel expenses. Michael Stone from Schneider Electric describes the opportunity to mentor the students as “the opportunity to both pour into and learn from future engineers.  The variety of ideas that come from these students is amazing.” The team continues to seek new relationships within the community to help support the expenses that come with this year-round competition team.

The team is always looking for ways to reach beyond their walls, and be more than robots. This year, just like last year, the team has asked each of the teams that they will be competing with to bring their soda tabs in order to “Pull Together To Make A Difference” for the Ronald McDonald house.  “It surprised me on how many teams helped us out, and collected soda tabs.  To be able to collect 45 pounds of soda tabs is unbelievable”  comments Tyler Sanzottera, Senior Holt High School. They also had the pleasure of serving a pancake breakfast to Veterans at Holy Cross Lutheran church. “

The team plans on attending the St. Louis Regional hosted at Chaifetz Arena on March 7-10. Then the team will travel to Chicago to compete in the Midwest Regional on April 4-7. Mentor Mark Henman says “After last years performance I really am looking forward to a really awesome experience”. Please feel free to visit The Ratchet Rocker’s at in order to follow their progress, and learn more about the team, and the opportunities available to the community to support Wentzville’s own Ratchet Rockers.

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