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Ronan SmartLab Robotics Team Is Named World Champs

Written by Bill Laurienti

Congratulations to the Ronan High School robotics team, one of our SmartLab partners, for being named World Champions during the 2011 FIRST Tech Challenge!

The FIRST Tech Challenge is a head-to-head robotics competition held at Dean Kamen’s annual International Robotics Celebration. This year’s world championships were held in St. Louis, MO, and featured more than 600 teams from 29 countries.

It’s not unusual to see the names of top silicon valley STEM magnet schools among the competition’s award winners; however, Ronan is a small rural town on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwest Montana. But Based on what we know about the Ronan SmartLab HQ program, we’d be hard pressed to call them underdogs, but it’s a victory for the “little guy” nonetheless.

Here’s a feature on the team from the local NBC affiliate after the team won nationals and qualified for the World Championships.

SmartLab integrates cutting-edge technology into every learning solution—including robotics. Robotics challenges often involve complex systems of mechanics, sensors, and computer programming; research skills; and artistic expression. It’s creative problem-solving at its best.

Dean Kamen’s FIRST robotics competitions offer teams of all ages a chance to test their engineering skills and we often see successful robotics teams grow from our SmartLab HQ programs.

Jesse Gray, Ronan High School’s SmartLab Facilitator and robotics team coach, said, “The SmartLab HQ has played a huge part in the success of the robotics program here in Ronan. The lab is an ideal setup for students to have an opportunity to work with robotics. I have students each period who are working on individual robotics challenges that are initiated using the Learning Launchers. Each group of students has a different level of understanding and ability, but all experience success!”

Ronan High School SmartLab SD30 Robotics Team
Ronan High School SmartLab SD30 Robotics Team
Bill Laurienti

Bill Laurienti is a Content Marketing Specialist at Creative Learning Systems. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (English) from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from the University of California's Rossier School of Education. Bill came to CLS after 10 years in the secondary classroom. He believes SmartLabs are important tools for engaging unengaged students and helping them access careers they might not otherwise have imagined.

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