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Elkhart to host state robotics contest

Students from all over Indiana will bring their robots to North Side Middle School for a contest this spring.


Posted on Feb. 11, 2014 at 8:25 a.m.

ELKHART — Hundreds of people are coming to Elkhart for a state high school robotics competition this spring.

Sonya Nash of the  Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes some of them forget their toothpaste.

“Anytime you have people coming into your community ... there is an (economical) impact,” Nash said. “They have to buy gas, they go to restaurants.”

The Visitors Bureau worked with ETHOS Science Center to promote Elkhart as the ideal location to host this competition, which will take place sometime in May.

IndianaFIRST, the group organizing the competition, said in a statement that the proposed site — North Side Middle School gym — was “an easy choice due to the large amount of space they have available.”

Other “selling points” of Elkhart are the 20 hotels within a three-mile radius of the school and a good selection of hardware stores for teams that need parts or tools for their robots, IndianaFIRST said.

The top 24 teams in the state will be competing. Their task is to build a robot “from the ground up” in six weeks, Boehler said.

There are four local high school teams working to build a robot — The Elk Logics, the Penn Black Knights and two teams based in South Bend.

Boehler hopes local companies that do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) work will come to the event and consider the young participants as potential employees.

“A lot of kids come out of these programs looking for jobs in those areas,” Boehler said. “Hopefully (local companies) might be able to find some interns for this summer or maybe people to hire for some jobs.”

Students in the robotics program do programming, public relations, digital media, electronics and more, he said.

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter @LydiaSheaks


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