It's been a while since we first told you about Muskegon's MARS FIRST Robotics team. In fact, it was back in January that we first met Michael Gerstweiler and his team of kids from Muskegon area schools including Reeths-Puffer, North Muskegon, Orchard View, Oakridge and a few home schoolers. Together they meet up and form the MARS Rovers robotics team and when we first talked they were minutes away from getting their orders on what this years project was going to be. Once the task is assigned, there is a 6 week window for these teams from all over the world to design, build and make their robot function in the FIRST competition. It's a STEM competition that pushes young people in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (thus STEM) and it's an intense experience for all of the competitors.
As we wrapped up our fist story, the group grabbed their seats and waited for instructions. Flash forward to today, well, our MARS First kids from Muskegon are on their way to the World Finals to be held in Detroit April 25th-28th. 28 countries 400 teams, Cobo Hall and Ford Field will be in use. Need a hotel in Detroit that weekend? Good luck on that. It's going to be filled with brilliant young minds..and probably some college and business recruiters who are looking for future developers and leaders. The best part of it is....Muskegon has not only the MARS First team but the Wavelengths fro Mona Shores heading there to represent us on a world stage. Possibly the best in the world....right here in Muskegon.
As we wrapped up our story in January, I told the MARS team that I'd be excited to come back and follow up. Actually was kind of wondering if I would hear from them again recently to be honest with ya, and just like that, Mike pops up on my instant messenger and says "Guess what...we're heading to the World Championships...want to come do another story?" Threw the camera in the car and off I went to visit Mike and his son Nick. Let's talk world championships!
What a bright future for these kids huh? It's going to be a great weekend for them and a great weekend for all of us as they head to Motown to show off what they have accomplished and try to stack up against the best of the best on the planet! Weeks of dedication, planning, preparing and competing to be a part of the excitement and hopefully bring back a win for themselves and all of us! Our very best to both the MARS FIRST team and the WAVELENGTHS!! For more on the FIRST Program, visit https://www.firstinspires.org/ .