It's been a couple years now that we've been covering the MARS 4004 Robotics Team in Muskegon. They are just one of many area teams that compete in the FIRST Robotics competitions that are rapidly becoming high powered and high energy events not only for the teams to compete in, but for crowds to watch. It's not exactly "Battle Bots" or anything, but the drive and determination it takes for these young people to build and compete in this field is nearly unmatched, and it pushes young people to excel in the STEM areas which all employers are looking more and more for. "STEM" is Science, Technology Engineering and Math....all in high demand as our students prepare to head into their futures and with FIRST Robotics, they get hands on training and a chance to apply skills and learn from experts in their fields who come in to mentor the teams.
We've followed the Mars Rovers 4004 but they are by far and away not the only team in the area, and they are very quick to point out that so many other schools in the area participate and share in the projects. It's a competitive, but collaborative environment that encourages the fun and team work. In a couple short months, all of our area teams from Fruitport to White Lake will converge on Orchard View High School for their competition to see who's been able to find "Deep Space" in 2019 and move on to the next round. With some good luck, great skills and hard work...the teams can work their way to the World Competition and go up against others from all over the globe, and it all started at the Muskegon Community College Strurrus Center on January 5th when they got their mission.
About 200 area young people were on hand for the unveil this years project. Also oh hand were some of the mentors and coaches and it was a great honor to welcome President of Combat Propulsion Systems, Maria Hedden and Vice President of Human Resources, Patti Tebelman from L3 Technologies in Muskegon who have taken the title sponsorship role for this years local competition. L3 is firmly committed to making Muskegon better by investing in programs like this to not only help young people, but to help sustain our community by fueling these kind of minds so that they can not only grow up here, they can stay and put down roots as they transition into their careers.
We talked to the Rovers...Maria and Patti, and have the footage of what this years "Deep Space" mission is all about. Take a look!
The game is set. The teams are preparing and we are gearing up to bring you the show live! You'll be able to watch the competition live from Orchard View High School as The Muskegon Channel will be on hand to show off the town, the teams and the competition on March 16th. They have a lot of work to do and so do we to get ready for the show! Best of luck to all our teams competing and showing the rest of the world just what Muskegon is made of! We'll see you at OV in the Spring! To learn more about title sponsor L3 click on their logo below.