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First-year Banks robotics team tries its luck at California event

COURTESY PHOTOS - The members of Cyberdyne Systems (back row left to right): Jacob Moore, Zach Streblow, Trask Bailey, Melchiah Mauck and  Zac Cook and (front row left to right): Max Jurgensen, Rephael Mauck, Kobey Bonin, Josie OHarrow, Ariana Woodruff and Sebastian Benjamin.Members of the Banks robotics team traveled to Oakland, Calif., over spring break to compete at the FTC West Super-Regional Tournament after qualifying through the Idaho FTC Championship Tournament.

The students competed in California with the robot they designed and manufactured with 3D printing and ready-made parts against the top 72 from 13 western states.

While they didn’t win in California, the Banks middle and high schoolers in the club were just happy to make it that far, said club volunteer advisor and Banks resident Sid Young.

This is Banks High School robotics team’s first year and has been growing in popularity since the start of the school year, doubling its membership to 11 youth to create the Cyberdyne Systems team.

Young is a software engineer at Intel and coaches the team with volunteers Patrick Bledsoe, a mechanical engineer at Intel; Charlie Mauck, a team parent; and Karl Bledsoe, a Banks High math teacher.

The coaches started the robot-building process by asking the kids to brainstorm and share any and all crazy ideas in a safe and comfortable space where there are no dumb ideas, Young said. “Often from the craziest ideas come the greatest invention.”

They came up with their ideal design, used Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology and 3D printers and ordered parts online to create their ideal robot. They assembled it as a team and programmed in functions. The teams robot gave a good showing at the California competition.

The final product was built using donations, creativity and countless hours of work. The club runs entirely off donations and from the $10 an hour Intel donates to organizations where their employees volunteer. The club meets in the Banks High School cafeteria every Saturday and Sunday from September through March.

Next year, Young hopes to start an all-girls robotics team and build on his current female membership of two.