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FIRST Robotics is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire young people to engage in science and technology by involving them in mentor-based programs that cultivate science, engineering, and technology skills while fostering self-confidence, communication, and leadership skills, as well. Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week limit, teams of high-school students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. 

In early April, nearly 40 local high school teams competed in the Traverse City FRC District Competition.

 The Suttons Bay Norseman Robotics Team, mentored by EOT's Evan Rogers and Jim Niessink, earned a top ranking in the qualification matches which qualifies them for the MI State Championship.  They are an incredibly strong team which has benefitted greatly from Evan’s and Jim’s guidance and efforts over the years. Congratulations to Evan, Jim, and the Sutton’s Bay team!

Additionally, the Traverse City St. Francis High School Robotics Team did well enough in the qualifying matches to be selected as the 3rd robot on the three-member alliance that went on to win the finals competition - with their final four matches scoring higher than all other matches! This was a thrilling experiences for all kids involved. A special thank you to EOT's Geoff Niessink and the EOT machine shop for lending their time, ideas, and helping the kids make parts and assemble their final product.

Finally, a special shout-out to EOT's Kenton Long for his mentoring of the kids and extraordinary support with ideas, drawings, and tutoring on tool usage and machining. The kids loved working with him. When asked, "What was the best part of this year's experience?" one of the kids replied, "The time spent at EOT getting help to build the robot!" Thank you again, Kenton. You did a wonderful job with the kids. 

EOT is proud to support our local high school children in this venture. We believe it is a great investment in the future of our kids.