Final day wraps up for FIRST Robotics Competition

Teams faced off at Saginaw Valley State University in the FIRST Robotics State Competition.

The final day of the championship decides which high school teams get to move on and which ones fell short.

For many seniors on the team, it’s their very last time competing at this level.

“I just hope that next year the kids that are on the team are going to go farther and maybe bring home the overall win,” said Shannon Fillwock, a Grand Blanc High School senior.

The Grand Blanc High School "Enginerds" were eliminated in the semi-finals on Saturday, April 13.

Fillwock is both the electrical engineer and robot operator for her team.

She said despite the loss she’s looking forward to a future career inspired by robotics.

“I’m actually going to Kettering University,” Fillwock said. “I start in July. I’m majoring in electrical engineering and I wouldn’t have ever actually decided on that if it wasn’t for the robotics team.”

More than 160 teams from around Michigan compete in the state championship and just 87 qualify for the next level.

The Midland High School “Like a Boss” team is one of them.

“We had to make it to the finals to get enough points to make it to worlds, so now we’re going to worlds so it’s amazing that we got this far,” said Gabe Poprave, a senior at Midland High School.

Poprave is the lead programmer for his team.

He said just two years of robotics inspired his college decisions. He’s heading to Oakland University in the fall.

“Robotics did help me,” Poprave said. “I was thinking I had a few plans for a career but with robotics I’m lead programmer so I settled on computer sciences once I found out I love it.”

For those that advance, the world championship will take place later this month in Houston and Detroit.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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