Northern robotics teams qualify for state robotics tournament

This past weekend, 40 VEX Robotics teams competed at the Dream It. Do It. Northern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament held at Bemidji State University. Fourteen different teams from 11 different schools and organizations were recognized for their work at the tournament.


The Iron Chargers, team 4149G from Grygla Public Schools and Polar Phoenix, team 1532B from Bemidji Middle School along with the Boss Botz, team 1080P from Cold Spring, were Tournament Champions. The Iron Chargers–4149G also received the Design Award for their work on their robot.

Easy Money, team 4003A, was one of seven teams competing from Bagley High School. They, along with the two teams from Fisher High School, the Fisher Knights, teams 7458F and 7458G, were Tournament Finalists. The Knights—7458F were also the Robot Skills Winner, having the highest score for the scoring points while driving their robot. The Knights—7458G received the Sportsmanship Award.

In addition, the two teams 3864B named Super Men and 3864C named Wonder Women from Lancaster School in Lancaster, team 5450B named Freeze Frame II from Marshall County Central Schools in Newfolden, team 6024B named Bruhsiden from Fosston High School and the Iron Chargers, team 4149C, were among the six tournament semi-finalists. They also qualified to compete in the state tournament. The Iron Chargers–4149C also received the Energy Award.

Each of these teams received an invitation to the Dream It. Do It. Minnesota State Tournament, where teams will compete for invitations to the World Championship.

Team 843 from Sacred Heart School received the Judges’ Award. The judges were impressed that they had had built their robot in two weeks with a simple but smart design for the competition.

To prepare for the tournament, the teams designed and built robots using the VEX Robotics Design System to compete in the game Skyrise, using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These teams also receive support from Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College and Northland Community and Technical College by attending scrimmages and receiving robotics kits to support teams as part of the colleges’ work with 360, a manufacturing-based center of excellence.

“Robotics provides a great opportunity for students to develop their skills in STEM along with teamwork and critical thinking,” said Lyle Meulebroeck, tournament coordinator and faculty member at Bemidji State University. “They also have the chance to learn about great career opportunities in robotics-related fields, like today’s manufacturing.”

Andrew Dahlen, an electronics instructor at Northland Community and Technical College and robotics coordinators, adds, “These teams have worked hard to build effective robots using their skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In addition, they are learning about mechanical design, troubleshooting, critical thinking and programming. They will be prepared to take advantage of the great career opportunities in STEM fields, like today’s manufacturing industry.”

The Dream It. Do It. Northern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament is one of three qualifying tournaments hosted by 360 and Dream It. Do It. Minnesota. Dream It. Do It. Minnesota and 360 have led VEX Robotics in Minnesota, helping youth connect their interest in robotics to opportunities in modern manufacturing.

Photos from the day are posted on the Dream It. Do It. Minnesota Facebook page. To learn more, visit