Everyone invited to “week zero” event

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Caledonia Robotics team expects 18 additional schools to attend the Seven Rivers Robotics Coalition “Week Zero Event.”

The school, for the first time in its existence, will host area robotics teams and their robots as they are given their first chances to see what the teams have been working so hard to build in action in the Steamworks course.

“We’ll have a full size field with FMS to practice and play ‘Steamworks’” said Warrior Robotics head coach James Larson.

Teams will be given practice time on Saturday with matches on Sunday.

“Teams will have the chance to work out any bugs in their programming or robots on Saturday,” Larson noted.

There will be a concession stand and everyone is invited to attend the event, as it is free and open to the public.

It will be held at the Caledonia MS/HS.

On Saturday the pits and field open at 10 a.m. and go until 3 p.m.

On Sunday, load in is at 10:30 a.m. and the pits open at that time as well.

There will be a drivers meeting at 11:30 a.m. and noon is the opening ceremonies.

An awards ceremony will be at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The Warrior robotics team has been working long hours on their machine bringing it up to the rules of this season’s competition.

This will be the first time the team gets to see the fruits of their labor in action.

La Crescent’s team will also be in attendance, as will Houston’s Robotics team.

Schools from the La Crosse area, as well as rural schools closer to Rochester will also be in attendance.

The Seven Rivers Robotics Coalition: a group of ten area FIRST Robotics Competition teams (La Crescent, La Crosse Aquinas, Onalaska Luther, La Crosse Central, Houston, Caledonia, West Salem, Onalaska, Westby, Holmen) are hosting their pre-season scrimmage event this Sunday, February 19th at Caledonia (MN), High School.  Eighteen teams from southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin are slated to participate.

This season’s game is called  FIRST® STEAMWORKSSM , a game that invites two adventure clubs (three team alliances) from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race.

This 6th annual scrimmage is a chance for the teams to compete on a full size field for the first time since the challenge was announced on Saturday January 7th.  Since then, the teams have been working to design, prototype, test, build, and program a robot to compete.  Although teams will compete at various events over the next several weeks, the scrimmage is a great opportunity for the teams to give their robot a final shake-down and test before they must stop work on the robot Tuesday February 21st.

This season is extra-special for most of the local teams.  For the first time ever there will be a FIRST Robotics regional competition held locally.   April 13-15 the La Crosse Center will host 48 teams from six states for a chance to qualify for the World Championships.

The scrimmage will be held at Caledonia High School (825 North Warrior Avenue, Caledonia MN) from 11:00 am until 6:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.  Visitors will be able to meet with the teams in their pits and learn about the process of building a robot from scratch in six weeks.