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  • Jay Femrite

ROCORI Robotics heading to State Tournament

The 2023 ROCORI Varsity Robotics team did not get an invite to the World Championship in Houston, but the season has been one of the best. The team placed 4th and won the Innovation in Control Award at the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth. At the North Star Regional at La Crosse, they placed 2nd and won the Regional Finalist Award and the Judges’ Award. The team ranked in the top 36 teams qualifying them for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHL) Robotics Tournament held on the University of Minnesota Campus. More information is available at and Streaming Live at

This year’s game “Charged Up”, is themed around sustainable energy. Two alliances of three compete on a carpeted field 26 by 54 feet. Each 2 ½ minute round include autonomous and teleoperation periods where robots retrieve rubber cones and inflatable cubes that represent electrical power from “substations” and place them into a “grid”. Robots then balance on a teeter tottering “charge station” for extra points.

The ROCORI FIRST Robotics team started in 2013. Coach Jay Femrite with Coach Riley Donat lead the team with mentor Ryan Dockendorf and several others from local schools and manufacturers. FIRST Robotics Competition tasks the team to design, build, program a robot in 6 weeks and then operate it during head-to-head competition in an alliance format. This year’s team includes Cal Athmann (human player and safety captain), Caleb Donat (drive team and CNC operator), Zach Reitmeier (technician and programing), Silas Ruffi (CAD design and drive coach), Liam Zenner (programming and drive team). While participating in FIRST Robotics, team members learn Java coding, engineering, computer aided drafting, CNC operation and practical thinking skills. Interested students and parents should visit our website and email us at

Students 7-12 should plan on signing up with community education to take Intro to FIRST Robotics and Intro to 3D printing classes. This summer we plan to build an aluminum motorized take home robot. Look for more information soon.

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