Wentzville Robotics Team Heading for World Championships in April

Ratchet Rockers Robotics Team 2017

The Wentzville School District Ratchet Rockers Robotics Team was part of an alliance that won the FIRST St. Louis Regional Competition at Chaifetz Arena last week and earned them a spot in the upcoming world championships.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is an innovative program that encourages young people to pursue STEM education and career opportunities. Each year, First Robotics Competition (FRC) teams participate in a six-week build season that leads them to compete at regional, state, and world competitions.

At the St. Louis Regional Competition, the Ratchet Rockers competed in a pool of 52 teams from seven states and earned a ranking of 2nd after qualifiers, finishing the competition with a record of 13-3-0. With ingenuity, hard work and a competitive 1st seed alliance with FRC Team 1732 Hilltopper Robotics and FRC Team 537 Charger Robotics (both from Wisconsin), the Ratchet Rockers went undefeated in finals and earned a spot at the World Championship in April.

The Ratchet Rockers Team also won the Innovation in Control Award for their vision programming and control, which was key in implementing their winning strategy.

The current FIRST statistics demonstrate how the Ratchet Rockers are paving the way for innovation and technology. The Ratchet Rockers have designed one of only two robots currently competing worldwide that is consistently shooting fuel (balls) in a high goal and scoring 40 points independently. The team has worked tirelessly to improve their shooter and feeder mechanisms to meet this challenge, according to team mentors. The Ratchet Rockers are currently ranked 25th worldwide by FRC Top 25.

“This level of performance doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because of dedicated, hardworking students and mentors, backed by the support of the school district and our generous sponsors,” said Head Coach Darrell Wodrich. “I am very proud of this team.”

Once other teams at the competition saw what the Ratchet Rockers’ robot was capable of, there was a steady stream of students, mentors, and engineers studying their shooter and its accuracy. “The team is very proud to be leading the way in STEM and FIRST Robotics for the Wentzville School District,” said Wodrich.

The Ratchet Rockers Team is comprised of about 50 students from all three WSD high schools: Holt, Liberty and Timberland. The team competes next in Huntsville, AL at the Rocket City Regional March 23-25, 2017 and by winning the regional event, they have earned a spot to compete at the World Championship April 27-29, 2017 at America’s Center. To learn more about the WSD Ratchet Rockers Team or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit their website www.ratchetrockers1706.org, or follow the team on Twitter @FRC1706, and Facebook.com/rr1706.