St. Paul Students Qualify for National Robotics Competition

Updated: 04/11/2014 7:36 AM

It’s a first for the St. Paul School District, as a new robotics team not only made it to the regional competition, but now they've won the chance to advance to the national event.

The team called the MinuteBots has only been building robots for two years. Most of the kids are new to this, and they never thought they'd get this far.

“It was pretty cool! We’re all really excited,” said Aaron Ludvigsen, a sophomore at Central High school.

“It was a lot of fun. Programming, building all the systems that go with the robot. I didn't know anything about the systems before,” said sophomore Liam Tomson-Moylan.

The team has come a long way in a short period of time. Last year, the team's robot barely had a working drivetrain, which basically makes the robot move.

The team of 19, along with two coaches and mentors from 3M, have been focused and determined. They also received help from an engineering student at the University of Minnesota.

Central High is an urban school, and offers advanced placement classes, but the team is a mix of kids. There is even a former gang member on the robotics team.

The national competition is coming up, but it's in Missouri.

“Our team is currently a little strapped for cash right now. This being a second year team, so we're trying to raise the money to get down to St. Louis,” said sophomore Mairead Solvang.

The students have set up a fund at Anchor Bank in St. Paul. A fund has also been set up to donate online.

Learn more about the competition here.