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West Michigan robotics team works to raise $40,000 to go to world championship

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Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 09:51:48-04

JENISON, Mich. — The Jenison robotics teams are working hard to get ready for a big competition later this spring.

Two high school and three junior high teams made up of 20 students put the final touches on their robots.

They plan to take them to Dallas, Texas, for the VEX Robotics World Championship this May.

"I never been to state. No, it's my first time and I've been doing robotics since, like, the soonest as I can," Jenison Junior High seventh grader Mason Hoyt said.

The team gave FOX 17 a demonstration of what it takes to score points Wednesday night. The team explains the objective is to get the robot to pick up particular objects and carry them to one end of the court.

The coaches' goal is more than points on the scoreboard. They are trying to raise $40,000 to take all 20 of them to Texas.

"We're trying to fundraise. So, you know, we're gonna make sure that all the kids can go," Jenison High School Robotics Director Jeff Gessner told FOX 17.

This championship game is not easy to get in to, let alone this number of students.

"We've had a couple of close calls where we thought we're gonna get to world's, and we just quite couldn't," Jenison High School senior Aidan Palmbos said.

The team tells me they're among the top 25 in our state to get invited.

"I've done robotics for nine years, and I've never really made it to the highest, like, competition ever," Palmbos said.

"I want to be in the top of the top 100 out of the 500 teams. I want to be in the top best-of-the-best teams," Hoyt.

The teams have raised around $15,000. You can help them out here.

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