VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota hosted 29 teams from 16 high schools at the third annual USD Robotics Competition.
Students from the top 10 teams received a USD housing scholarship valued at over $2,000 every year they remain on campus with a possibility of earning over $8,000 over a four-year span.
Quoc Nam Tran, chair of the computer science program at USD, said they made the switch from a traditional programming contest to robotics to generate interest in the competition. It also allowed participants more time, almost three months, to prepare for the event which challenges students to program a robot, provided by USD, through a maze.
Starting this fall, USD will also offer a new online dual credit course in robotic programming which will formally train students for both the competition and their future academic studies.
The top three placing team which received additional prizes:
First place - Omaha Northwest - Robert Harshbarger, Alex Nordin, Brandon Micek
Second place - Mitchell High School - Natalie Buckley, Ethan Roth, Jordan Thill
Third place - Omaha Northwest - Kevin Rateni Iatauro, Adam Strasser, Brett Hillabrand
A list of scholarship winners:
Bellevue East High School - Gavin Van Ornum and Brendon Nelson
Estherville Lincoln County Central - Chloe Bauler, Colin Tibbetts, Jessica Wilson, Chiara Bartolo and Michael Christensen
Hinton High School - Bradly Shanahan
Kinsley-Pierson High School - Connor Toliver and Jadon Woehler
Lincoln Christian High School - Nathan Mills
Lincoln Southeast High School - Sabrina Nelsen and Alicia Rauner
Mitchell High School - Natalie Buckley, Jack Dailey, Shane Fahey, Caleb Gebhard, Alex Pierce, Lucas Putnam, Ethan Roth, Jordan Thill
Omaha Northwest - Robert Harshbarger, Brett Hillabrand, Alex Nordin, Kevin Rateni Iatauro