The Boulder High School Robotics Team is going to a global competition!

Part of the Boulder High School Robosharks accepting their trophy at the regional competition in Longmont. Left to right: Mackenzie Olsen, Mattison Konczak, Zhenren Miller Meng, Ian Graves, Kieran Abbott, Julian Snyder

Image credit: Jessica Klauzer-Zimmerman

The Boulder High School Robotics Team is traveling to Tennessee later this month to compete in the Worlds Championship for an underwater robotics competition. This is the second time the team is traveling to Tennessee, after they first went to the same competition in the summer of 2021. Despite still struggling to adapt after the loss of their mentor Dan Zahner in 2022, the team placed first at the regional competition hosted by the St. Vrain Valley School District's Innovation Center, and is now heading onto the global stage.

The group is planning to fly out to the event, where they will then compete against teams from all over the globe, including Egypt, China, and Uganda. The MATE ROV Competition's 2024 World Championship starts June 18th at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. This year's theme focuses on creating solutions to issues with marine data collection, as well as repairing damage to vulnerable ecosystems like coral reefs.

The fourteen-person team includes six graduates, six rising seniors, a rising junior, and two rising sophomores who were introduced to the competition this year. They're mostly funded through the Jim and Dede Bartlett Foundation, although they've also started a fundraising campaign to cover travel costs and replace obsolete equipment.

Over the course of the year, the team has faced a lot of problems, including parts failing right before the regional, as well as difficulty in creating a waterproof seal in the electronics housing. Nevertheless, they persevered and managed to beat their opponents by 20 points at the regionals, and are now looking forward to the competition in June.

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